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Subject: Cultural Studies »

Hass Dellal on the Impact of Turkish Australian migration agreement of 1968

Hass Dellal.

Hass Dellal describes the ground-breaking Turkish Australian migration agreement of 1968.



Date Added:

03 April 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

6.9 MB






That had a huge impact, both my uncles and my father were greatly involved in the settlement of the Turks when they first arrived here. In fact we met the first plane load that arrived in – at Essendon Airport in 1968 or ‘9 or whatever it was in November. And to us, it was given the fact that we’d lived in Turkey it was a sense of excitement. Because I must say that I had a lot of friends, Cypriot Turks but you know, many of them did not have that unique experience that I had, the opportunity of going back and coming back, so I saw things a little bit differently. And to have Turkish people coming from the mainland was quite an exciting thing, was like, family coming home, or coming, you know, meeting new family.


And so that was quite exciting for my parents and myself, but it – but it also was the opening of many new relationships between Australians – the Australian community and the Turkish community. Admittedly there were some difficulties, I recall my father being called out in the evenings or late at night to courts or to hospitals and to this and to that, you know, doing all sorts of services, interpreting, translating or, you know, all sorts of problems, there were in those initial periods.


Because it was quite a shock for a lot of the Turkish migrants because I don’t think they were fully briefed or fully equipped to experience what they were going to experience in this new land and I don’t think they were totally prepared and that was quite evident, you could really see that. But after a period of time, once they were sort of resourced up and skilled up – and the Cypriot Turks, I forgot to say, played an incredible role in helping a lot of these people in terms of their integration process, although we weren’t using those words in those days, but it was really about their settlement process and getting them to understand what it was.


I mean there were all sorts of problems at the time, I mean they were accused of being welfare rort, there were Turks were this and Turks were that, and all this sort of business, but now if you look at it 40 years on, they’re celebrating their 40th anniversary and they’re looked upon as one of the greatest communities that have integrated into this community.


When you say, a Turk, you don’t necessarily relate to a Muslim issue, yet they’re 99%, you know secular Muslims and it’s not an issue – doesn’t seem to be an issue so much with them. I suppose, it had an – an enormous impact even if you just have to look at the relationship between the Australians and the Turkish community in terms of Gallipoli, what has been – what has transpired? The fact that there is the first sub branch of the RSL Turkish branch here.


End transcript