Exhibition links past and present memories of Gallipoli: Osborne Park RSL

Turkish veteran Adil Sahin and Australian Len Hall met for the first time in 1990 on the |Gallipoli battlefield where they fought as |enemies in 1915, when Adil was just 17 and Len only 16.
Turkish veteran Adil Sahin and Australian Len Hall met for the first time in 1990 on the |Gallipoli battlefield where they fought as |enemies in 1915, when Adil was just 17 and Len only 16.

A PHOTOGRAPHIC exhibition by Vedat Acikalin connects past and present memories of the Gallipoli campaign.

Mr Acikalin, who was born in Turkey, said the series of photographs explored relationships between Turkish and Australian World War I veterans and their families.

“I captured tender and potent moments, observing old enemies coming together on the Gallipoli Peninsula,” Mr Acikalin said.

“I observed a bond between these men and respectful friendships, as they remembered how, as young men, they fought so fiercely against each other.

“Once enemies, these men walked together as friends, visiting the trenches and pausing at the graves of their mates, sometimes shedding tears, sometimes laughing, as they shared their stories with one another.”

As a Turkish Australian, Mr Acikalin said putting the exhibition together was emotional.

“Growing up, I learnt of the heroism and sacrifice of the Turkish soldiers through school history lessons,” he said.

“I can imagine the hardship and bravery of these men fighting to defend their country.

“When I immigrated to Australia in 1973, it was the first I learnt of the Anzac legend created by Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought at Gallipoli.”

The exhibition Gallipoli Then and Now: Bonds Forged by War runs until October 17 at Osborne Park RSL Memorial Hall.