‘It is high time to build for peace,’ says Turkish PM

ahmet davutoğlu ermeni mesajı
Davutoglu welcomes world leaders at Istanbul Peace Summit commemorating 1915 Battle of Gallipoli.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has called Thursday on world leaders to strive for peace in an Istanbul summit held as part of centenary commemorations of the 1915 Battle of Canakkale (Gallipoli).

“Through this summit, we wanted to give one message to the world. We might have experienced wars a century ago, but it is high time to build for peace after a century,” told Davutoglu at the Istanbul Peace Summit. 

“Let’s give up the language of hatred, take lessons from history and tell the new generation about peace, in order not to experience similar wars again,” he added. 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Iraqi President Fuad Masum are among the attendees of the summit.

The year 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the battle in the Dardanelles Strait in Canakkale province’s district of Gallipoli, which served as a turnaround in favor of the Turks fighting in World War I against the Allied Forces.

Commemorations are taking place around the world this week to mark the 100th anniversary of the battle, predominantly in Australia and Turkey, which suffered the brunt of the casualties.

At least 21 heads of state will attend ceremonies in Canakkale on Friday and Saturday. Prince Charles, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and the president of the Syrian National Coalition Khalid Khoja will attend the ceremony.

“We’ve never created a culture of hatred over the Gallipoli battle. We always have respect (for others), and have deserved respect,” he noted.

During his speech, Ahmet Davutoglu also warned against those who try to ignite new hostilities over sorrows of the past. 

The victory against the Allied Forces in the Dardanelles Strait gave Turkey a massive boost in morale, which enabled it to wage a war of independence and eventually, in 1923, to form a republic from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, that was led by the Turkish Republic’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.