Fifty years of Turkish migration

Signing the Australia-Turkey Migration Agreement, 1967. Australian News and Information Bureau. Reproduced courtesy National Archives of Australia A1200, L65408

Signing the Australia-Turkey Migration Agreement, 1967. Australian News and Information Bureau. Reproduced courtesy National Archives of Australia: A1200, L65408.

Fifty years ago today, on 5 October 1967, the Australian and Turkish governments signed a bilateral agreement to provide assisted passage to Turkish migrants, to help build Australia’s population and expand the workforce. The Australia-Turkey Migration Agreement – Australia’s inaugural agreement with a nation beyond Western Europe – enabled the first major Muslim community to settle in the country. This represented a significant step in the gradual dismantling of the White Australia policy.

Around 19,000 assisted Turkish migrants arrived in Australia between 1968 and 1974. Many, like couple Halit and Şükran Adasal, came with the intention of working hard and saving enough money to return to Turkey. But within three years of their arrival, Şükran had given birth to two daughters, Hale and Funda, and Australia became the family’s home. Hale registered Halit and Şükran Adasal on the museum’s Welcome Wall to honour ‘my parents who left all that they knew for a better life with hope and courage. Their migration planted the seeds of their family roots in Australia for future generations of our family.’

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Anzac Cove from the water: the Gallipoli diary of 2nd Engineer George Armstrong

George Armstrong’s diary

100 years after the Anzac landings at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, the museum has acquired a rare diary written on board a transport ship lying off Anzac Cove.

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Echoes of Anzac at Lemnos

Cheryl Ward’s play Through These Lines tells the moving story of Australia’s WWI army nurses. The 2014 production, directed by Mary-Anne Gifford, has its Sydney season at the Museum, 25-28 September and 3-5 October.

As part of the research for the play, Cheryl travelled to Lemnos to walk in the nurses’ footsteps. Using period photographs and diaries crammed full of invaluable eyewitness accounts, Cheryl was able to turn back the clock 100 years.

No. 3 Australian General Hospital, Lemnos, then and now. Photo A. W. Savage, C. Ward & B. de Broglio.

No. 3 Australian General Hospital, Lemnos, then and now. Photo A. W. Savage, C. Ward & B. de Broglio.

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Object of the Week

Object of the Week: Dardanelles – 1915 – Our Heroes

This hand crocheted cotton tray cloth or antimacassar was produced to commemorate Australia’s involvement in the Dardanelles campaign of World War I. It depicts a naval ship flanked by two Union Jacks, and the phrase ‘DARDANELLES / 1915 / OUR HEROES’. Crocheting patterns like this appeared in many women’s journals and magazines during World War I such as Australian Home Journal, Australian Woman’s Mirror, and Woman’s Budget. A variety of uses and patterns were supplied – milk jug covers, pillowcases, bedspreads, table runners, table cloths – all with similar patriotic designs. The maker of this particular piece is unknown. Similar examples are held in the Australian War Memorial and Powerhouse Museum collections.

Hand crocheted cloth c 1915, ANMM Collection

Hand crocheted cloth c 1915, ANMM Collection

The crocheted piece represents the patriotism felt by the Australian community for Australia’s involvement in the Allied attempt to capture the Dardanelles in World War I and the consequent Gallipoli Campaign.

Initially the Dardanelles campaign was a naval operation to capture the Dardanelles (the strait in Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara) from Turkish defences, allowing Allied naval forces through to disrupt shipping and capture Constantinople – the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. Despite the success of the Royal Australian Navy submarine AE2 breaching Turkish defences in the Dardanelles on 25 April 1915, the Allied forces were unsuccessful in forcing their way through the heavily defended strait and sustained heavy losses.

In a new plan, British, French, Australian and New Zealand troops invaded and attempted occupy the Gallipoli Peninsula in April 1915, in the hopes of eliminating the shore-based Turkish defences and opening the Dardanelles to the Allied navies. Australian forces landed at what is now known as ANZAC Cove on 25 April 1915, and despite attempts at breaking through Turkish lines in the early days, the campaign resulted in a stalemate until the evacuation of troops in December. The Gallipoli campaign ended in Allied defeat with over 140,000 Allied casualties, more than 44,000 of whom died.

Other items relating to the Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns are now on the Australian National Maritime Museum’s on-line collection.