From ruthless foe to national friend: Turkey, Gallipoli and Australian nationalism

Catherine Simpson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


As the centenary of the Gallipoli landings draws closer, we will no doubt be inundated with more media debating the relevance, or otherwise, of this event to Australian national identity. In the plethora of academic literature that already exists about Gallipoli and the Anzac legend, little attention has been given to the role of Turkey. Over the course of the last century, particularly in Australian filmmaking, the Turk has been variously positioned as ruthless foe (during World War I), noble enemy (during World War II) and now national friend (post-1980s). I argue that what began as merely 'respect' for the enemy at Gallipoli post-1915 has now morphed into a nationally celebrated, government-constructed and media-supported friendship between Turkey and Australia. This article charts the shifting image of the Turk in Australian film and culture, but more specifically the role Turkey has played in constructing and perpetuating the Anzac legend and conservative visions of nationhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number137
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


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