April 25th is ANZAC Day, the day when we remember New Zealand soldiers who died in wars. April 25th, 1915 was the day when Australia and New Zealand soldiers (they were called ANZACs) landed at Gallipoli in Turkey. They planned to capture Istanbul and open the Black Sea to the Allies (Britain and the countries which supported Britain). However the Turkish army defeated the ANZACs. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers and 2,700 New Zealand soldiers died at Gallipoli. Turkey later named that bay at Gallipoli, ANZAC Cove to remember these soldiers. Turkey now has a warm relationship with Australia and New Zealand because they too lost many soldiers. Every year, there is a ceremony at ANZAC cove.
The Turkish army officer who led his army became known as Ataturk. He later led the Turkish War of Independence and became the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Although his soldiers killed many ANZACs, Ataturk was a man who cared about other people. In Wellington, on Moa Point Road, above the sea, is a tall, concrete memorial to Ataturk. On the memorial are these words from Ataturk to the mothers of the dead New Zealand soldiers. It says, “Wipe away your tears. These heroes are now lying in the soil of a friendly country… After having lost their lives in this land, they have become our sons as well.”