“Everything we see in the world is the creative work of women."Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Ataturk: First President and Founder of the Turkish Republic
On Friday three women representing the Narooma RSL sub branch traveled to the Turkish Embassy in Canberra to be presented with a Turkish Flag by the Turkish ambassador. The flag will be flown in Narooma on ANZAC Day 2015 as part of the 100 year commemoration of the landing at Gallipoli.
Narooma RSL sub-branch secretary Margaret Naylor and Barbara Pearce Legacy Laurel Club member along with Mary Brown War widow were chauffeured to Canberra courtesy of John Byers of Narooma Taxi’s and Hire Cars.
The delegation started out early from Narooma and after being slowed down by roadwork’s and a brief coffee stop in Braidwood they arrived at the Ataturk Turkish Memorial on Anzac Parade near the War Memorial in Canberra.
There they were met by Kellie Horne the daughter of Narooma sub-branch welfare officer Ian Noormets. Kellie Horne, a horticulturist brought with her an arrangement of flowers for the Narooma women to place at the Ataturk memorial.
The bouquet included tulips, a favourite flower of the Turks.
After the ladies had finished visiting the Ataturk Memorial they made their way to the Turkish Embassy where they were met and welcomed by the Turkish ambassador’s personal assistant Müjde Tahtali Cayir and secretary Ramazan Aydemir.
After being shown to a meeting room they were joined by first secretary Taylan Ӧzgùr Aydin.
Morning tea of Turkish tea, coffee and pastries was served and ambassador He Reha Keskintepe joined party.
Over refreshments the ambassador talked about Turkey, the people, Turkey’s population of 76 million people and the import and export trade. In turn the Narooma’s contingent spoke about Narooma, the RSL and the forthcoming ANZAC day commemoration service planned for next year.
Following morning tea the party was ushered to the ambassador’s office where the official presentation of the Turkish flag was made by ambassador He Reha Keskintepe to Margaret Naylor.
After the ambassador and first secretary had retired the ladies and John were treated to a tour of the embassy.
The Ambassador’s personal assistant, Müjde Tahtali Cayir and secretary Ramazan Aydemir showed the visitors the auditorium where the night before the embassy had hosted an opera.
The walls were decorated with the ambassador’s personal collection of 100 year old Turkish post cards.
The ambassador’s PA Müjde mother of four boys showed everyone her office and her beautiful artworks of painted Turkish and Australian designs on eucalyptus bark and leaves.
After a tour of the embassy gardens with PA Müjde, the Narooma contingent left the embassy and began their journey home to deliver the Turkish Flag to Narooma RSL sub branch president, Paul Naylor.
The flag will now remain on display in the RSL memorabilia cabinet in the foyer of Club Narooma until ANZAC Day 2015 when it will fly with the other flags.
All the women agreed the trip to the Turkish Embassy had been a privileged and a delightful day.
“They were the most courteous people and their hospitality was lovely,” Narooma RSL sub branch secretary, Margaret Naylor said.
“It was truly an honour to bring the Turkish flag back to Narooma,” she said.
Mary Brown was equally excited about her trip to Canberra, “The ambassador and Ramazan were very handsome and charming,” she said.