Stay classy, Turkey

I’ve been researching Turkey for the last month or so, preparing to travel there some time this year. Some time in the fall, perhaps? That’s not the point, however. I’ve stumbled across rich, historical narratives; mouth-watering descriptions of kebabs; and generally everything required to stir me into a frenzy of excitement and joy at the prospect of seeing yet another country.

But the thing that stood out to me the most were the words on a World War I monument at Ariburnu Sanhil Aniti on the Gallipoli Peninsula. These words were spoken in 1934 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a military officer and Turkey’s first president. I can think of few better examples of class and empathy than these touching words. And, though I’ve never been much for tours of battle sites, I plan to visit the peninsula and pay my respects to the 130,000 people who died there.

To us there is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets…You, the mothers, who sent your sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom…After having lost their lives in this land, they have become our sons as well.

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