‘Gallipoli’s inconvenient “other side”‘, Pearls and Irritations, 10 April 2015
The author is an independent scholar at the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Sydney. The article examines the history of the Armenian genocide, looking at the nature of the Ottoman Empire in 1915, the actions of the ‘Young Turk’ government against Armenians, reporting by neutral United States officials on the ground and by Australian newspapers, Australian relief efforts, the arrest of perpetrators and their subsequent release, and the history of relations with Turkey since.
It seems [the author concludes] that our nation’s collective memory of Gallipoli and the government’s position on the Armenian genocide are influenced more by current economic and political relations than a true reflection of the past. If, as some historians have suggested, that telling the honest truth about Australia’s First World War experience is the best way to honour our war dead, than it’s time for a more truthful representation of the “other side” of Gallipoli.