The 1985 Gallipoli monument was supposed to be restored, but now the words welcoming the dead to rest on Turkish soil have disappeared.

Sources in both Australia and Turkey told the Guardian that the motivations for the “restoration” were partly political, and reflected an increasing emphasis on religion throughout history.

Historians in both countries told the Guardian that they expect the finished renovation to leave the memorial markedly different, thanks to efforts from the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The defaced ANZAC memorial. Photo /

The defaced ANZAC memorial. Photo /

The monument previously read: “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.

“Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.

“You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.

“After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

The familiar words, attributed to Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, are also inscribed on monuments in Australia and New Zealand.

They’ve taken on a special place in Anzac mythology, and diplomatic relations with Turkey.

Historians in Australia and Turkey told the Guardian the “refurbishment” could be part of the Erdoğan administration’s moves to cast Gallipoli as part of a clash between jihadi defenders and invading crusaders on the shores of Islam.

Professor of history at the University of New South Wales Canberra Peter Stanley said the erasure of the purported Atatürk words reflected a “new theocratic interpretation” of the conflict in Turkey.

“Because the Erdoğan government is in power, Islamists are now in the ascendant – as the new Gaba Tepe interpretative centre [at Gallipoli] shows.

“It depicts Turkey’s 86,000 Gallipoli dead as “martyrs”, dying in a fight against Christian invaders.”

The destruction of the monument was first noticed by a tour guide, who posted a picture on social media.

-NZ Herald

Our dead are no longer welcome on Turkish soil. History revisionists are portraying our ANZACs as Christian invaders against Islamist Jihadist defenders. The welcome mat has been well and truly removed. We “Christians” are seen as the enemy of Islam. It is a pity that our people do not recognise that the opposite is now true. Islam is the enemy of the West. How many times do Islamists like Erdoğan have to show us that they are our enemies before we finally get the message?