For most Kiwis, Gallipoli is synonymous with the deaths of thousands of our men at the hands of enemy forces. But Nejat Kavvas has a very different perspective.

Mr Kavvas was born in Turkey but married a New Zealander and has lived here since the 1970s, raising his family in Auckland.

For many years he was the Turkish Honorary Consul in Auckland and integral to the forging of a strong bond between the nations.

He was involved in establishing tripartite commemorations of Anzac Day and the exchange of memorial monuments between New Zealand and Turkey.


"It [the war] was a sad event for everybody. The Ottoman Empire was not in the position to be in a war even if we wanted it," he said.

"It was a bloody battle. It was a terrible war, it was cold-blooded."

Mr Kavvas has marked many Anzac Days in New Zealand and appreciates its significance from the Kiwi perspective.

However he also wants Kiwis to appreciate and respect the Turkish position.

"We were being invaded. We were being divided up and we were protecting our home against those invaders. We didn't want war."

He said the relationship that had been forged between New Zealand and Turkey over the past 100 years was special.

"Turkey holds New Zealand in a very high esteem - you have no idea," he said.

Mr Kavvas said this year's centenary would be special.


"It's obviously exceptionally sad and it doesn't really matter whether you are a Turk or a Kiwi."