I was born and brought up in Turkey where I lived until I was 28 years old before I came to England. As you know I am Turkish and my background is similar to that of Mehmet CANLI who was an officer in the Turkish Army.
I joined Hampshire Police in 2003 as a police officer and I worked in Southampton until 2010, when I was transferred to a much much smaller town in Hampshire, namely Fordingbridge. Being the main officer who covered the town centre, I attended Remembrance Sunday’s every year dealing with road closures etc.
However last year, when it was the 100th anniversary of the
beginning of the First World War, my Sergeant asked me if I would lay the wreath on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary. I was quite surprised by this, and I was hesitant to accept the task at first. In a small place like Fordingbridge everyone knew that I was Turkish and I was not sure how it would be received by everyone for a Turk to lay the wreath.
Nevertheless, I gladly accepted to do it which was a great pleasure and honour for me after all. Because during the Great War very many innocent lives were lost and they all fought for their country to which they had an attachment.
I hope we all learn, and I hope the history does not repeat, and I hope no more lives are not lost again. We owe it to those who sacrificed themselves.