Turkish opera singer prepares to belt out national anthem
TURKISH opera singer Arda Aktar was honoured and afraid when approached about performing at some of Australia and New Zealand's most solemn ceremonies.
Mr Aktar on Saturday will sing the Turkish national anthem Istiklal March at the Anzac Cove dawn service, Lone Pine Australian service and Chunuk Bair New Zealand service.
"Someone from the Australian Embassy watched me when I was performing with the Ankara State Opera and they asked me to sing."
He said there was a risk involved in the performance.
"It is not like an opera to sing. Everybody knows what you are singing and there is no chance to make a mistake.
"Of course, it is a very big pleasure."
He held Australians in high regard.
"It is lovely that you are coming here every year to respect your memories.
"I respect that so much."
Mr Aktar expected a moving dawn ceremony.
"To be here at half past five in the morning with all of the sound coming from the sea, all of the speeches, the choir, the national anthems- it is so emotional.
ANZAC COVE DAWN SERVICE ANTHEM SINGERS:
Australia: Simone Dew
New Zealand: Rebecca Nelson
Turkey: Arda Aktar