Ataturk Memorial Unveiled in Sydney

19 February 2015

Today a ceremony was held outside the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park south to unveil a plaque recognising Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s words of comfort to the Anzac mothers who lost their sons in Gallipoli in the Great War.

The plaque has been erected in this location on a temporary basis in recognition of the enduring friendship forged between the people of Turkey and Australia, who fought on opposite sides of the Great War as a Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council endorsed project, with the support of the NSW and Turkish Governments.

The plaque provides the text of speech written by Mustafa Kemal in 1934 in memory of the allied soldiers who fell during the Gallipoli campaign.

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On this day

On this day
16 February

1942— BANKA ISLAND MASSACRE. Following the sinking of the SS Vyner Brook, many of the survivors, including 22 Australian nurses, reached the shore of Banka Island. Realising that their position was desperate, an officer from the ship set out with most of the women and children to surrender the group to the Japanese. The officer returned with 20 Japanese soldiers who ordered all the men capable of walking to move to hidden part of the beach and killed them. They then returned to the beach and ordered the 22 nurses and 1 British civilian woman to walk into the water. They were machine-gunned in the back. All the immobile survivors were then killed. Sister Vivian Bullwinkle pretended to be dead and was the only survivor