25 Apr 2023

Ambassador Omur Unsay on Turkey's 100th birthday

From Anzac Day, 10:08 am on 25 April 2023

Earlier this morning Turkey's ambassador to New Zealand Omur Unsay attended the dawn service here at the National War Memorial. Her country's story of resistance as they defeated Allied forces at Gallipoli in 1915 is well known but what is perhaps less familiar is what happened to Turkey in the years that followed. After the end of the First World War in 1918 British, French, Italian and Greek forces occupied Constantinople - now called Istanbul. A Greek army invaded from the west and drove deep into the heart of mainland Turkey. Out of this chaos a Turkish nationalist movement emerged to fight a war of Independence which by 1923, they had won. And this October marks the one hundredth birthday of the Turkish Republic.