They become our sons as well.
Founded by the Turks, the Ottoman Empire was a dynasty of an indigenous Anatolian nomadic people who came out of Central Asia ruled by Osman Gazi in 1299.
It is to these people of Turkish tribes that we must give thanks and praise for keeping our Anzacs, in caring for their eternal rest in peace, and making our fathers that have fallen on their soil, their sons as well. Our tears are in their weeping.
The Gallipoli Peninsula is to the south of East Thrace in the European part of Turkey. On its east is the Dardanelles Strait, to its west the Sea of Aegean.
It is here at Gallipoli that the architect, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, released his mastermind attack on the Ottoman Empire on February 17, 1915.
The objective was to take control of strategic waterways, the Turkish Straits, but the Allied Forces finally withdrew on January 9, 1916 in defeat.
Churchill facilitated this incompetent attack initially, throwing common sense to the wind and acting against all advice.
None was more so in opposition than the head of the British Navy First Sea Lord Admiral John Fisher. Unsurprisingly, Churchill, in taking the blame for its failure, was sent to France to look after an infantry.
His actions at Gallipoli had cost in excess of 8709 Australian and 2779 Kiwi lives. This failure was a major issue in the collapse of British Prime Minister, Asquith's government.
In its entirety the human cost was:
Australia 8709 died, 19441 wounded, 28,150 total casualties.
New Zealand 2779 died, 5212 wounded, 7991 total casualties.
India 1358 died, 3421 wounded, 4779 total casualties.
France 10,000 died, 17,000 wounded, 27,000 total casualties.
New Foundland 49 died, 93 wounded, 142 total casualties.
Regrettably, for the Turks fighting in their own home against foreign invasion, the price of citizenship was high. For the Ottomans 86,692 died, 164, 617 wounded, 251,309 total casualties. All this occurred over 10 months, 3 weeks and 2 days.
This invasion into the Ottoman Empire's territory compounded negatively for the Allies from the very beginning, through its disastrous facilitation, to the inevitable defeat and withdrawal, with little or no headway made from their original landing places.
The navy landed a mile away from the correct landing mark. Boats became bunched and unable to manoeuvre proficiently, only to land in chaos and disorganisation. Troops became disorientated and merged together, unable to regroup. A mass of confusion.
Lieutenant General William Birdwood led the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. He landed at Ari Burna, at what is now known as Anzac Cove on April 25. Their position was literally a toe-hold on the steep slopes above the beach. Despite eventually establishing a beach-head position they made no progress.
For the Turks Gallipoli marked the start of a nationalist revival, with Kemal Atatürk leading the Turkish forces, becoming their Ottoman hero and founding president of the Turkish Republic. Gallipoli was honoured as a sacred place of reverence.
The Turkish people are to be commended for their long continued allegiance to all our Anzac soldiers, in keeping them, caring for them and praying for them every night of the year, still today. We are blessed by their true love and forgiveness.
The Gallipoli Monument at Anzac Cove sums up the Ottoman attitude when it says:
"Those heroes that shed their blood, you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore, rest in peace. There is no difference between Johnnies and the Mehmets to us 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. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."
Kia koutou ngā Ottomans, ngā Allies ngā Anzacs, tenei te mihi aroha, tenei te mihi tangi.
May God continue to keep your souls, and may we continue to keep your hearts.
Te Hira Henderson is curator Māori for MTG Hawke's Bay