Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Nathan Guy has invested Turkish citizen Mr Ali Partal as an Honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in recognition of his work supporting Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli.
“This is the first time a Turkish national has ever received a Royal New Zealand Award and is well deserved.”
The award was presented at a ceremony in Canakkale, Turkey this morning (New Zealand time).
Mr Ali Partal is the former Deputy Governor of the Çanakkale province which includes Gallipoli. The award is due to the outstanding assistance he provided to New Zealand around the Anzac Day commemorations from 2005 to 2011.
“Mr Partal has been invaluable in ensuring the success and safety of the annual Anzac Day commemorations, and in supporting numerous visits by New Zealand dignitaries and the thousands of New Zealand and Australian nationals.”
The New Zealand Order of Merit is awarded to those who have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and New Zealand, or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits.
“I’ve heard only the highest praise for Mr Partal’s efforts from both locals and New Zealand officials. His efforts have helped to make the Anzac Day services safe, dignified and reflective of the strong and close relationship between our two countries.
“The dedication and efforts of people like Mr Partal, and many others from New Zealand, Turkey and Australia are critical to our annual Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli.
“The close bond between our countries will continue to be especially important as we look forward to the centenary celebrations of Gallipoli in 2015.”