A visit to Gallipoli, Turkey, for Anzac Day

Almost 106 years ago, young men set off from our shores on an Adventure of a lifetime. Little did they know the horrors that awaited them. Many didn’t make it back and none returned the man that they left. While we didn’t wake and stand on our driveway on Saturday morning to mark the anniversary of the fateful landing in Gallipoli, we took time to ‘travel’ to Turkey. To learn about ANZAC COVE, the geography of the area, what the Digger’s life may have looked like, how we remember them and then more about Turkey and what it looks (and tastes) like today. On Saturday we focussed on our Anzac Day traditions and ways we remember those who sacrificed so much. On Sunday we learnt about modern day Turkey. 

What we created

  • Design your own Poppy crafts. I am really not much of a craft mum but this experience has stretched me to think a little outside the box, be prepared with some basic materials and let there be a bit of a mess. We grabbed out paper, beads, pop sticks, paints, buttons, sequins and whatever else was in the ‘leftover’ craft tin and the girls and I created our own Poppy picture. Girls loved the freedom to do what they wanted (I even enjoyed it a bit!)
  • The boys headed to the LEGO studio and created a Ship and sign to remember the ANZAC’s.
  • My kid’s love word searches, a couple of these from Teachers Pay Teachers took up a little time!
  • Miss 10 went through a couple of worksheets, even created an Anzac Day menu that consisted only of Lamingtons, Anzac biscuits and Pavlova.
  • Mr 12 created a story board using an ANZAC Inquiry ideas sheet from TpT. Still waiting on him to finish it…


  • Maps of the Middle East. We took some time to understand where not only Turkey is, but the countries surrounding it. Did you know that Istanbul is the only city to be on 2 continents! We were going to race as teams to place all the countries but with one parent being a geography wiz and the other directionally challenged, we ended up working together. My 8 takes after his Dad and loves maps, so he spent some extra time learning all the countries surrounding Turkey as well.
  • We spent time learning about Islam and the impact this has on the culture and life of Turkey. A great chance to teach the kids not to be fearful of those that are different but to be educated on what their beliefs are and how to have conversations about it. In light of this we created some Silhouette Mosque’s with templates from In the Playroom blog

    What we ate

  • Gunner’s breakfast on Anzac Day morning, without the sausages.
  • We made 2 batches of Anzac biscuits. One from an original 1914 recipe, the other from the Thermomix cook book. A little bit of a ‘science’ experiment to see what tasted better. Reviews were unanimous that the original recipe trumped the more refined version.
  • Spinach and Feta Gozleme. I was a little lazy and just used wraps rather then making the flatbread. Mostly as I was just a little disorganised and the kids were hungry! Partly because I didn’t read the recipe properly. These were yum, but I added too much Feta which made it very salty.
  • Turkish Bread. Tried a couple of different recipes, one with dairy the other without (3 dairy free folk in the house now!). Turkish Bread and Turkish flat bread. All of it was yum! The toddlers found the dairy version and believed they were ‘pancakes’. By this stage of the quarantine I caved and figured the literal ‘clean up’ would be less drama then letting them eat it.
  • We tried our hand at Loukoumades. A Turkish dessert, somewhat representing a donut/churro but oh so yummy! Took a little bit of time and I am going to need to run every day this week to make up for the fact that I nearly ate them all!
  • For dinner, not that we were particularly hungry, we supported a local Turkish restaurant, Mekan Chargrill. The Husband had a kebab, kids just some rice and Chicken. It was tasty, but probably not our favourite exotic food.

    What we watched

  • During our Gunner’s breakfast we listened to a Radio Play produced by a local primary school. It was supposed to be an assembly play but late in term 1 was repurposed and then broadcast on ABC Radio. A portrayal of 2 friends going off to war.
  • We learned the meaning behind the Poppy as a symbol of remembrance.
  • Tolkien. Mr 12 is an avid reader. He was reading C.S. Lewis in Pre Primary on his own and has never stopped. Of late some of his favourites have been The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. His intensity around what he loves is both admirable and challenging, but I am glad we sat down with him to watch this movie. With scenes from World War 1 alongside Tolkien’s childhood and adolescence, it was wonderful to watch him make the connections of the symbolism between life and literacy.
  • ‘Church’ online has been hard so we changed things up and made our ‘church’ service connect with the rest of our travels. Prayercast has information and prayers for every country around the world.
  • The BBC has some wonderful, bitesize videos on all sorts of topics but they include this one on what is Islam for kids 4-12.
  • The big kids spent time learning more about Islam. Apparently there is a saying, ‘To be a Turk is to be a muslim’. At one point in Turkish history it was predominately Christian, in the 1400’s Turkey the Ottoman’s defeated the ruling empire and the country’s culture and religion were changed. The Centre for Public Christianity has some wonderful talks about the topic of Islam and Christianity for High Schoolers (and adults). With the Husband’s help, miss 10 and mr 12 were challenged to learn more.
  • A tour through modern day Turkey – certainly made us want to add this country to our bucket list. We did skip the Turkey Bath and vaping scenes though.
  • Finally, we finished the weekend with one of our Disney favourites – the ‘new’ Aladdin. The markets, the desert, the grand palaces, they all make a little more sense now.

merlin_155004189_e1573537-4eb9-47d3-b37c-abf1a696c41c-jumboFinally we finished the night with The Husband doing one of the things that made me fall in love with him. He tied all of the weekend together, teaching the kids (and me!) from the story of Noah’s ark and the flood that impacted Turkey and the surrounding areas to the victory of the Ottoman’s and how that impacted the fight in Gallipoli. A reminder that  decisions made in history impact our reality. As I put my boys to bed, I prayed that none of them would ever experience the need to go to war. That they would seek Justice and Truth in their fight for Peace. That they would be men of courage – the Anzac spirit but in a way that never see’s the horrors of our past.

Next week – we will journey somewhere new. As yet, the ‘travel agent’ (aka mum) needs to have a moment to myself to figure out our itinerary.

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