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Fri 12 Feb 2016, 12:10pm–1:00pm

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

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


A talk given by Dr Azer Banu Kemaloglu and Dr Ian McGibbon. Dr Kemaloglu curated the exhibition From Hostility to Lasting Friendship which is currently showing at the National Library. Dr McGibbon is a leading New Zealand historian with a special interest in Gallipoli.

The talk looks at the narratives and dairies of ordinary soldiers from Turkey and the Allies. Through focusing on these narratives, the exhibition and the talk invites an exploration of notions of "enemy", of national identity forged in war and of reconciliation as the stories 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 Kemalo─člu 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.”

This is a free public talk but could you please RSVP to with From Hostility to Friendship in the subject line.

Dr Azer Banu Kemalo─člu 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.

Dr Ian McGibbon ONZM was formerly General Editor (War History) at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, and is currently employed by the ministry to complete a book on New Zealand’s role on the Western Front in the First World War as part of the Centenary History series.

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