‘If we were not, they could not be’: Anzac and Turkish diasporic politics of memory

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Journal Article
History Australia, 2018, 15 (2), pp. 306 - 322
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© 2018 Australian Historical Association. The Anzac tradition in Australia has gone through significant changes over the last few decades. It is widely acknowledged that the nation as an analytical framework often falls short of explaining some of the trends in recent history. Connections with Turkey through commemoration of Gallipoli have encouraged scholars to consider the transnational implications of Anzac. This article extends these transnational understandings by focusing on the role of Turkish immigration in Australia and the experiences of Turkish-Australians in shaping, acting upon and manipulating the memorial policies of the two countries while developing their own diasporic historical and political consciousness. I argue, based on fieldwork in Sydney among the active Turkish participants of the commemorations of Gallipoli, that the major mobilising forces are a desire for inclusion as well as furthering of Turkish state politics in Australia. The article examines the limits and problems of this inclusion and this construct of Turkish interests in Australia, which is based on a hegemonic Kemalist view of Turkishness.
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