Mateship Trek heads to Gallipoli

Federal Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare is taking five young Turkish Australians to Gallipoli in January 2015.

140926_WEBPIC_MATESHIP_TREK_EROL_AND_YASMINE

Erol Dalkic of Auburn, Simal Tekin of Westmead, Alara Aktepe of Carlingford, Ersoy Dariverenli of Berala and Yasmine Lewis of Condell Park will travel to Turkey with Mr Clare.

They will be amongst the first Australians to visit the Gallipoli peninsular in the year of the Centenary of Anzac. The Mateship Trek will be guided by Executive Manager of the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park and military historian, Brad Manera. The group will walk more than 60km of steep trails linking the Gallipoli battlefields, following both Australian and Turkish lines of defence. The activities will conclude with a memorial service on Australia Day.

The Mateship Trek was formed in 2008 by Federal MPs Jason Clare and Scott Morrison following the Cronulla riots in 2005. Erol, Simal, Alara, Ersoy and Yasmine will join four surf life savers from Cronulla’s beaches and two soldiers who were part of the ISAF forces in Afghanistan – one Australian and one Turkish.

This is the fourth Mateship Trek that Mr Clare has organised.

In 2009 he took young people to walk the Kokoda Track. In 2011 he took young people to retrace the footsteps of World War II POWs along the Sandakan Death March. In 2013 Mateship returned to Papua New Guinea to trek the Black Cat Track from Wau to Salamaua.

Mr Clare said “the purpose of the Mateship Treks is to bring young people from different communities together, learn about our history, honour our past and help build leaders of the future.”

For Ersoy Dariverenli, a trip to Turkey to pay tribute to the ancestors he never met, has been a life-long dream. Erol, Simal and Alara also have ancestors who fought in the Turkish Army. Alara’s great grandfather was a decorated soldier in Ataturk’s army, and she marches in Sydney’s Anzac Day parade each year as part of the Auburn RSL Turkish Sub-branch, carrying his Medal of Honour.

Yasmine Lewis, law student and regular performer at Bankstown’s Poetry Slam is also looking forward to travelling to Turkey in January.

“I’m sure our experience will be life changing. I’ll be training hard like the rest of the group, so I hope it’s enough to prepare me for the challenges of trekking through the steep terrain and camping in the outdoors during the Turkish winter”, Yasmine said.

After meeting in Auburn last Saturday, the group of five travelled to the Blue Mountains to work on their fitness together.

The Mateship Trek will again be supporting Australian charity Soldier On in 2015. For further details see www.soldieron.org.au/fundraising/campaigns/mateship-trek-2015

Media contact: (02) 9790 2466