In April 2014, His Excellency Lieutenant General the Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor General of New Zealand, expressed support for an initiative to establish a historical sister city relationship during a visit to Turkey in April 2014. The Turkish Ambassador to New Zealand, Her Excellency Ms Damla Yesim Say and Mayor Wade-Brown agreed to create an ‘historical sister city’ relationship.
Çanakkale is a Turkish city on the southern coast of the Dardanelles, where the Gallipoli Campaign during World War One took place.
During the events leading up to ANZAC day 2016, sonic wells were constructed in the city centres of Wellington and Çanakkale through which the public of both cities could communicate with each other. The Memorandum of Understanding was also signed by the Mayors of both cities via video conference during this time.
Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer and Chief of Staff John McGrath travelled to Çanakkale in May 2016 on a courtesy call and met Mayor Ülgür Gökhan.
The Wellington – Çanakkale relationship signifies new friendship between past adversaries and was signed as part of the capital’s WW100 commemorations 2014-2018.