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Sat 19 Mar 2016, 8:30am–5:00pm
Mon 21 Mar 2016, 8:30am–5:00pm
Tue 22 Mar 2016, 8:30am–5:00pm
Wed 23 Mar 2016, 8:30am–5:00pm
Thu 24 Mar 2016, 8:30am–5:00pm

Where: National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


The exhibition’s curator, Turkish Professor Dr Azer Banu Kemaloğlu from Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, has drawn on narratives and diaries of soldiers to bring together personal accounts of Gallipoli from ten Turkish and ten ANZAC soldiers.

Through focusing on ordinary soldier narratives (rather than military records), the exhibition invites exploration of the notions of ‘enemy’, of national identity (forged in war) and of reconciliation as the narratives bring out the human voice.

Included in the exhibition is an image of New Zealand soldier Claude Lennan Comyn’s diary, which contained a picture of Atatürk (then Turkish military officer Mustafa Kemal Pasha).

Dr Kemaloğlu says, “When Turkish people discover Atatürk’s picture in a New Zealand soldier’s diary they feel respect towards the former enemy. Similarly, New Zealanders feel for the Turkish veterans who refused the veteran pay, claiming that it was their duty to fight for their country. In this way, the human voice eventually establishes an empathy and enables an understanding transgressing the hostility felt in 1915.”

Dr Kemaloğlu says New Zealanders who attend the exhibition can expect to learn more about ANZAC soldiers who kept flowers and leaves from Gallipoli peninsula, described Gallipoli sunsets and told humorous stories in their diaries. They will also realize how similar the experiences and feelings of Turkish and ANZACs were.”

The exhibition is presented in Turkish and English. It was shown in Turkey and Australia last year and is being brought to New Zealand by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of the First World War centenary commemorations.

Dr Azer Banu Kemaloğlu is Assistant Professor at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey. She is also the Deputy Chair of the Turkish-Australian Culture Centre and teaches in the English Literature Department. Her research interest is the Gallipoli Campaign, which has been the focus of her studies for the past five years. She is the chief investigator of an international project funded by TUBİTAK-(The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) in 2013-2015 entitled ‘’From Hostility to Lasting Friendship: Cultural Reflections from the Turkish and Anzac Soldiers' Diaries’’.

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