An exhibition that tells the stories of ten Turkish and ten Anzac soldiers, who fought in the trenches at Gallipoli, will be launched at the State Library tonight.
Titled “From Hostility to Lasting Friendship – Cultural Reflections from the Turkish and Anzac Soldier Narratives,” the exhibition will be open to the public until 15 January.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Martin Hamilton-Smith said the display is ground-breaking.
“This is the first time stories of the Turkish soldiers will be told together with those of Anzac soldiers, and presented bilingually to an Australian audience,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
The exhibition is presented by Veterans SA in partnership with the State Library of South Australia, and forms part of South Australia’s Anzac Centenary commemorations.
Mr Hamilton-Smith said it reveals how similar the experiences of the Turkish and Anzac soldiers were.
“The exhibition is part of a research project that focused on the cultural themes found in ordinary soldier narratives, rather than in military records,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
The exhibition is curated by Turkish Professor, Dr Azer Banu Kemaloglu, from Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University.
“It unearths the human voice to transcend national and ideological boundaries,” Dr Kemaloglu said.
“This exhibition invites us to explore our notions of ‘enemy’, of national identity forged in war and of reconciliation within a multicultural Australia.
“Just as Gallipoli served to shape Australia’s identity, it had a similar impact for Turkey whose countrymen were asked to ‘lay down their lives’ to prevent the allies from taking hold of the Dardanelles Straits. Out of this campaign, a new Turkey was forged.”
Dr Kemaloglu will present a Curator’s talk on Thursday 26 November from 5.30pm at the Hetzel Theatre, which will be followed by a screening of Tolga Ornek’s award winning feature documentary Gelibolu.
To find out more about the exhibition visit www.anzaccentenary.sa.gov.au