24 April 2015

Dr Mark Peterson, Chair of the New Zealand Medical Association, will tomorrow join the Dr Brian Owler, President of the Australian  Medical Association, and Dr Bayazit Ilhan, President of the Turkish Medical Association, at an event to commemorate the role played by physicians at Gallipoli.

Taking part in ‘Physicians together for Peace’, they will visit sites where both ANZAC and Ottoman forces cared for the wounded, and will participate in a panel discussion and presentations on the role of their respective medical corps during the campaign.

“For New Zealand and Australia…the Gallipoli campaign is often seen to have played an important part in fostering a sense of national identity,” says Dr Peterson. “Those at home were proud of how their men had performed on the world stage, establishing a reputation for fighting hard in difficult conditions. Anzac Day grew out of this pride and is  a time for remembering not only those who died at Gallipoli, but all who have served their country in times of war and peace.”

Dr Ilhan emphasises the coming together of the three medical associations in peace to remember those who had gone before.

“The tragedy experienced on this land a century ago was so heavy that we can mitigate its pain only by sharing it in friendship, fraternity and peace as the grandsons and daughters of once-warring parties,” he says. “We know that human history has witnessed innumerable wars and doctors have also devoted their efforts to save lives in these wars.

“Our greatest wish is to let this land share the memories of people living in happiness, peace, freedom and equality.”