Handkerchief links Turk, New Zealander

Published 25.04.2017 23:17
Updated 25.04.2017 23:22
Nazmi Öz (R) poses with Darilyn Uren and the handkerchief of his grandfather.
Nazmi Öz (R) poses with Darilyn Uren and the handkerchief of his grandfather.

A poignant episode during yesterday's commemoration at Gallipoli was the meeting of Nazmi Öz and Darilyn Perry Uren. Öz is a descendant of Yusuf, a young Ottoman soldier who died at Çanakkale, and Uren is the granddaughter of a brother of George Thomas Uren, a corporal who died in the same war. Nazmi Öz was in possession of a bloody handkerchief found on the corpse of his grandfather when he died of his wounds, and had found out it was given to him by a fellow soldier.

Öz did not know who was the original owner of the handkerchief, which had something in English written on it, until a local researcher came across it and revealed the note was a birthday message for 28-year-old Uren from his mother. The researcher, Ömer Arslan, managed to reach Darilyn Uren, a relative of the corporal who was not married when he volunteered to join a New Zealand battalion in 1914.

Through a visit arranged by a nongovernmental organization, Uren met Öz on the sidelines of yesterday's commemoration. Turkish authorities and New Zealand Justice Minister Amy Adams accompanied Uren and Öz, who brought the bloody handkerchief with him. Öz refused to hand over the handkerchief as it is the only memento he has of his late grandfather, but gave an exact replica to Uren's descendant.

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