Turkish government say they are not 'destroying' Gallipoli monument
The Turkish Government has hit back at claims it was planning to significantly alter a historic monument to fallen Anzac troops at Gallipoli.
Reports emerged this week that the tribute to Anzac soldiers etched in stone on the Ataturk Memorial at the north end of Anzac Cove were chiselled off as part of a sweeping "renovation" of all Turkish memorials and epitaphs on the peninsula.
However the organisation which maintains the area, Turkey's Directorate of Gallipoli Historic Site, put out a statement denying the words attributed to Turkey's founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk were being changed.
"The monument at Ariburnu is not being destroyed or altered. The stonework has been removed due to deterioration that has occurred over the years, and will be restored and replaced.
PUBLIC STATEMENT! pic.twitter.com/Qm6CMevPkU— TarihiAlanBaşkanlığı (@TarihiAlan) June 17, 2017
"With regard to these monuments, history is not being destroyed or rewritten, and Ataturk's words will not be lost."
The story initially appeared on the Guardian, who claimed a "Turkish Islamist push" may be to blame for removal of the inscription.
The Australian ambassador to Turkey, James Larsen, also moved to quell speculation around the upgrade.
Turkey has been in a prolonged state of unrest since a failed coup attempt by a section of the military last year against the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year.
About 50,000 people have been arrested, and another 100,000 sacked from their jobs.