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Consular travel advice: Turkey: Anzac Day



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NEWS RELEASE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE

D31 20 April 1998

Consular Travel Advice - Turkey: Anzac Day

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade wish to draw the following points to the attention of travellers planning to attend the Anzac Day ceremonies at Gallipoli in Turkey.

Each year increasing numbers of visitors from Australia and New Zealand are attending the Anzac Day services. Accommodation in the Gallipoli area, particularly for the night of 24 April, is very heavily booked well in advance of Anzac Day. Travellers will need to make bookings as early as possible to secure accommodation.

For those visitors staying in Canakkale, there will be public vehicular ferries from Canakkale to Eceabat. Given the likely traffic congestion on the peninsula on the morning of 25 April, visitors and tour bus operators are strongly advised to take the ferries which sail at either 2am or 3am.

The dawn service is held at the Ari Bumu cemetery at Anzac Cove at 0530. The cemetery is small and slopes down to a high retaining wall above the beach. Much of the area is taken up with rows of headstones and ornamental plants and is protected by embankments with deep drains on each side. Visitors need to take special care to avoid a fall and to respect the dignity of the site.

Not all visitors.to the service can be accommodated within the cemetery. This area is simply not large enough to accommodate the increasing number of visitors. Some people now choose to take up places either outside the cemetery to the north or on the beach. Regrettably, not everyone will be able to see the ceremony clearly. The public address system however, will be extended and we ask for your understanding and co-operation.

Visitors arriving for the dawn service should carry a torch and follow the instructions given by officials. The morning can be cold and extra clothing might be a good idea. As the day is long, some food and drink would help to keep the spirits going. Those arriving the night before Anzac Day are advised to keep to the main congregation areas and to be aware of their personal safety as the area is undeveloped. There are no permanent facilities such as fresh water and toilets.

Several hours after the dawn service the Turkish international ceremony is held at Mehmetcik Abide at the tip of the peninsula. This is followed by the French, British, Australian (Lone Pine), Turkish (at 57th regiment memorial) and New Zealand (Chunuk Bair) ceremonies at the respective national monuments.

M edia releases an d speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. h t t p : / / w w w .d fa t.g o v .a u /

The narrow roads linking the various memorials will be congested. Those Australians and New Zealanders having attended the dawn service who are determined also to take part in the commemorations at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair may be best advised to go directly to those memorials.

Over the past two years our Embassies in Ankara have received a number of complaints about litter left at Anzac Cove, especially around Ari Bumu, and about damage to the plants around the graves. We would ask that all visitors respect the sanctity of the occasion and respect the great historical significance of this area and of all other memorial sites on the peninsula.

The order of service for all three Anzac services is finalised close to the day to allow for any last minute contingencies.

The New Zealand Governor-General and Australian Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs will be taking part in 1998.

Copies of the program will be available from local hotels, hostels and tour operators immediately prior to Anzac Day as well as from Australian and New Zealand diplomatic missions in Turkey and on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's home page www.dfat.gov.au.

We trust that all those attending the services will find the services commemorating the sacrifices of earlier Australians, New Zealanders and other allies, as well as Turkish combatants, a moving and memorable experience.

NB: While every care has been taken in preparing this Travel Advice, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees including any member o f Australia’s consular staff abroad, can accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained herein.

M edia releases an d speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. h t t p : / / w w w .d fa t.g o v .a u /