Speech of H.E. Ambassador Yusuf Ziya Özcan at the Commemoration Ceremony of Turkish Marty’s at Krakow Rakowicki Cemetary, 18 March 2014

Yusuf Ziya Özcan 18.03.2014

Dear Guests,

I would like to take this occasion to thank you all
for being with us on that significant day.

On 18thMarch we commemorate of our nation who heroically fought and died in battles for Turkish nation's independence and world peace. On that date, we also celebrate naval victory of the Dardanelles battle that took place during the World War I.

This date has
also crucial meaning for us due to the fact that Turkish soldiers fought heavy
battles together with our allies against Russia in Galicia, which at that time
was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Victorious battles that took place on
the galician front, in which more than 1050 Turkish soldiers fought
heroically and died martyrs, contributed later to
regaining independence by Poland.

There are 13 separate martyrdoms where these war heros
are buried. In the place of burial of Turkish soldiers in the Cracow Rakowicki
Cemetery rest “Lieutenant Mehmet
İsmail Hakkı” and his ten heroic
comrades in arms.

Turkish-Polish
friendship was described in the best way in Polish national poet Adam
Mickiewicz’s words
“During the days when all
countries remained silent to the partition of our state, our only friends were
the Turks. We have affection for the Turks as a superior nation because they
never bent before our enemies and refused to accept the occupation”. Referring
to Mickiewicz’s words, Turkey will always remain best friend and ally of
Poland, supporting its independence and sovereignty.

Our Turkish and Polish martyrs were guided by these feelings and beliefs
and without any hesitation they shed their blood in the struggles for this
land. We commemorate them with gratefulness.

We pay tribute to our martyrs. May God bless their souls.

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