House of Assembly
April 25, 2018

Speaker of the House of Assembly Tables Report on Visit to Turkey as Emissary of the People of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Honourable Perry Trimper, Speaker of the House of Assembly, tabled a report today on his recent visit to the Republic of Turkey. On December 7, 2017, the House of Assembly unanimously passed a resolution requesting that the Speaker travel to Turkey as an emissary of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to advance discussions toward a shared goal of establishing a monument commemorating the experience of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment at Gallipoli during the First World War.

Speaker Trimper was hosted by His Excellency Mr. İsmail Kahraman, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly (GNAT) of the Republic of Turkey; and Deputy Speaker, the Honourable Mr. Yaşar Tüzün, in January 2018. Diplomatic and logistics support were provided by the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa (H.E. Ambassador Selçuk Ünal), and the Canadian Embassy in Ankara (H.E. Ambassador Chris Cooter). The program consisted of meetings and events designed to advance discussions with key decision makers in reaching an agreement to establish the monument.

“I am pleased to report that relations between our jurisdictions progressed positively during my visit. I was honoured to receive a proposal from the Minister of Culture and Tourism for the Republic of Turkey, the Honourable Professor Numan Kurtulmuş, for the installation of a Caribou monument commemorating the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, adjacent to Hill 10 Cemetery in Gallipoli National Park. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the warmth, respect and friendship extended to me during my visit to the Republic of Turkey.”
- Honourable Perry Trimper, Speaker of the House of Assembly

Currently, there are five Caribou monuments at sites of significance for the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in northern France and Belgium, on what has become known as the Trail of the Caribou. These sites retrace the history of the Regiment, commemorating its accomplishments, contributions and sacrifices. Despite previous efforts to complete the Trail of the Caribou, a monument has not yet been placed at Gallipoli.

The proposal by the Turkish Government to establish a Caribou monument adjacent to Hill 10 Cemetery is of particular emotional significance. This location is the resting place of several Royal Newfoundland Regiment soldiers, including Private Hugh McWhirter, the first casualty of the Regiment at Gallipoli.

A Turkish delegation is visiting the province from April 24 to 26, 2018, hosted by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, who will be responsible for progressing discussions between the Province and Turkey on this matter.

The report tabled in the House of Assembly can be viewed here: assembly.nl.ca/About/ReportsPublications/pdfs/ReportSpeakersVisitToTurkeyApril25-2018.pdf PDF Icon.

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Bobbi Russell
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House of Assembly
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2018 04 25                              3:00 p.m.