THE Bendigo RSL had a special visitor on Monday: Dr John Basarin, a Turkish Australian who is an expert on the Gallipoli campaign.
Dr Basarin has been fascinated by the campaign since 1985 and has written several books on the topic, including A Turkish View of Gallipoli, Gallipoli – Turkish Story and Beneath the Dardanelles.
He talked to Bendigo members about the conflict from a Turkish point of view.
“It’s important for me as a Turkish Australian, coming from Istanbul, to be able to tell the Turkish perspective,” Dr Basarin told the Bendigo Advertiser.
“There’s an amazing story on the other side as well.
“We think that telling it will enrich Australians’ understanding of the Gallipoli campaign.”
He said that Turks and Australians emerged from Gallipoli as friends; an usual occurrence considering they spent months killing one another.
“These soldiers actually felt for each other,” Dr Basarin said.
“Remember they were living for eight months, in some cases, 10 metres from each other.
Dr Basarin said lessons of the Gallipoli campaign are still relevant today.
“It is pointless because it didn’t achieve anything at the end of the day," he said.