Anthony Byrne MP today met with Turkish Vice Consul Mr Ersel Ozdemir to present the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Melbourne with a painting from the recent Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show, which took place on 4-5 July 2015 in Narre Warren.
As part of the Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show the Turkish Vice Consul Mr Ersel Ozdemir was invited by Provenance Artists Inc to attend and he was deeply moved by a painting entitled “Compassion In War” by Gabriele Jenkins depicting an Australian soldier sharing a drink from a mug with a Turkish Solider at Gallipoli in World War I.
Recognising the sacrifice made by both Australian and Turkish soldiers at Gallipoli and endeavouring to symbolise the deep connection between the Australian and Turkish people Anthony Byrne MP determined to donate this special painting to the Turkish Consulate in Melbourne.
“I am deeply honoured to meet with the Turkish Vice Consul Mr Ersel Ozdemir to present the “Compassion In War” painting on behalf of the local community to the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Melbourne. The first military encounter of Turkey and Australia was on the battlefields of Çanakkale (Galliopli) and this created a bond of mutual respect, admiration and close friendship that has endured for the last 100 years,” said Mr Byrne.
The warm sentiments between Turkish and Australian nations were best voiced in the message of the Great Turkish Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which was sent to the Australian and New Zealander mothers in 1934 and is as follows: “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.
“This painting is a recognition of Australia’s close friendship with Turkey. With over 60,000 Turkish Australians now living in our country we are keen to build on our friendship in the years to come,’ said Mr Byrne.
As part of the Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show all the paintings on display will be donated back to the community after the art show. Any school, sporting group, community group or other organisation in Holt that is interested in an Anzac Centenary commemorative painting to be displayed in their facility should contact Anthony Byrne MP’s office on 9796 7533.
Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.