ANZAC legend ought to be devoid of religious overtones

On a day of solemn remembrance and reflection, it was disturbing to read of attempts by Islamists in Turkey to attempt to reconfigure the Gallipoli narrative as some sort of battle against a heathen invader. It seems Turkish Islamists, eager to dismantle that nation’s secularism are attempting to rewrite history to portray the Gallipoli campaign as a sort of us against them (read, Muslim against Christian) campaign to defend an Islamic state. This flies in the face of all that was said about the campaign by leaders such as Ataturk, who’s moving tribute to the ANZACs emphasised the commonality between the Turks and the ANZACs. It is a beautiful sentiment, which we would do well to remember. Some say this for Australians is our true national day. But it is not so in the sense of say the 4th of July in America, a day of outright celebration. Rather, it ought to be a day of reflection as to our deeper values, what we stand for, and a day on which we lament the horror of war. I sincerely hope that likewise, in Turkey, it remains remembered in a similar fashion, that the words of Ataturk about the horror of war be remembered, rather than the story of Gallipoli being abused for contemporary purposes by Islamists.

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