On the 19th of February 2015, a monument in honour of Mustapha Kemal ‘Ataturk’ was erected in Hyde Park; a large park close to the center of Sydney. Please consider the protest letter below, and if you agree, send it to the email adresses listed below the letter. There is NO PLACE for monuments of genocide perpetrators anywhere in Australia, or the rest of the civilized world for that matter.
To whom it may concern,
Re: Mustapha Kemal Memorial; Hyde Park, Sydney.
I wish to express my shock and outrage at the recent erection of a monument in honour of a person responsible for committing mass atrocities during the early part of the 20th century. I refer to the monument erected on the 19th of February 2015 outside the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park, in honour of Mustapha Kemal ‘Ataturk’.
To think that the NSW Government funded and approved the erection of such a monument is unfathomable. What will the state of New South Wales do next? Erect a monument in honour of Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot?
After the end of the First World War, Mustapha Kemal and his supporters (Kemalists), were responsible for some of the most heinous acts committed against defenceless minorities in Turkey. It included mass killings, deportations/death marches, rape of women and burning of villages and religious property to name but a few. The victims were mainly Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, but included Yezidis and also Jews.
The atrocities were widely reported in the Australian print media:
On the 23rd of March 1922, The Examiner of Launceston on page 5 reported: “CONCENTRATION OF KEMALISTS – TERRIBLE MASSACRES OF CHRISTIANS”, referring to a terrible 3-day massacre of Christians in Caesarea in the interior of Turkey.
On the 6th of August 1921, the Maryborough Chronicle of Queensland published an article on page 7 titled “REIGN OF TERROR BY KEMALISTS – MASSACRE OF GREEK SUBJECTS” referring to the Kemalists rounding up Greeks in Trebizond, and putting them to death. 27 British subjects were also retained as prisoners, their whereabouts being unknown.
On the 4th of July 1922, the Daily Telegraph of Launceston published an article on page 3 titled “ANATOLIAN ATROCITIES – THE KEMALIST PROGRAMME – EXTIRPATION OF CHRISTIANS” which tells of the ‘blood-curdling account of the Turkish atrocities’ and the ‘systematic character of these unspeakable atrocities’.
Countless newspaper reports of these atrocities exist, not to mention eye-witness accounts by government and non-government officials. The actions of Mustapha Kemal have been officially recognised and affirmed as acts of genocide by many countries worldwide. I therefore find it inconceivable that a monument would be erected in honour of such a man.
I wish to also point out that the statement attributed by Ataturk on the memorial, was in fact recently shown not to have been addressed to the mothers of Australian soldiers. In fact there is no real evidence to prove that Ataturk made the statement, as attested in an article of September 8, 2015 in the Sydney Morning Herald by Peter Stanley and David Stephens titled “Ataturk’s ‘letter’ expressed admirable sentiment, but it is not necessarily good history.”
Furthermore, War memorials are meant to be a tribute for those who died in battle for their country. To have a memorial in Australia of an authoritarian ruler who became the ‘light in the darkness’ for Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party as revealed in the book “Ataturk in the Nazi Imagination”, next to a holy shrine such as the Hyde Park Memorial, is outrageous. Australia nearly went to war against Ataturk in September 1922. We wouldn’t have a memorial to Mussolini or Hitler surely.
I take offence to the existence of this monument and ask the Government of NSW remove it as soon as is practically possible. There is absolutely no need for a monument that publicly displays a person who committed crimes of humanity.
EMAIL THE ABOVE LETTER TO:
ANZAC Memorial Hyde Park – email@example.com Sydney Lord Mayor – firstname.lastname@example.org RSL Sydney – email@example.com The Sydney Morning Herald – firstname.lastname@example.org ABC – http://www.abc.net.au/news/contact/feedback/ The Australian Newspaper – email@example.com ABC – http://www.abc.net.au/news/contact/feedback/ Victor Dominello – firstname.lastname@example.org A Current Affair – http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/feedback.aspx