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Meeting with Prime Minister of Turkey.

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At a meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan today, we reaffirmed the warm and longstanding friendship between Australia and Turkey and our commitment to strengthen and develop ties between our countries, including further cooperation on ANZAC-related issues, economic and defence agreements, and people-to-people contacts. We recognised the benefits to Turkey, the European Union, and to regional stability and security, of Turkish accession to the EU and an effective resolution to the Cyprus issue. We also exchanged views on the current situation in the Middle East and progress in the international fight against terrorism.

Prime Minister Erdogan and I reaffirmed our shared understanding of the profound mutual significance of Gallipoli to the national identities and historical experience of Turkey and Australia. The annual commemorations of those events which take place in each country each year attest to their continuing relevance to our peoples and to our nations today. On behalf of the Australian people, I expressed deep appreciation for Turkey’s stewardship of the ANZAC area and the warm welcome extended to the many thousands of Australian visitors there each year.

I noted with appreciation the extensive protections already afforded by Turkey to the area, including its declaration as a National Park in 1973 and its designation as a Heritage site in 1980. We agreed that Australia would continue to consult closely with Turkey over our desire, fully consistent with Turkish sovereignty over the area, to symbolically recognise the historical importance of the ANZAC area. This process will be informed by the joint historical survey mentioned below.

We agreed to further enhance cooperation on ANZAC issues, including the preservation of sites and the environmental and historical values of the area. Mr Erdogan agreed with my proposal that there be a joint historical survey of the ANZAC area (including archaeological aspects) to provide a clear basis for balancing development plans for the park with the preservation of key sites. We also agreed to a joint engineering review to ensure the roadworks, including measures to control erosion, in the ANZAC Cove area are completed in a way as sympathetic as possible to the landscape. We noted the large and growing number of visitors from many nations and that plans for the future of the Park aimed to provide a safe environment for visitors whilst protecting important historic sites. I noted the cooperation to date and welcomed the opportunity to provide further assistance in the future.


An enduring legacy of the Gallipoli experience has been the forging of people-to-people links between our two countries. In this context, we agreed to an Australian funded exchange scholarship program to assist students and scholars from both countries to advance their studies in areas of mutual interest to Australia and Turkey.

Also with a view to enhancing people-to-people links, we agreed to explore a work and holiday visa arrangement to facilitate travel by young people between the two countries.

We noted that negotiations for a treaty-level Framework Agreement on Military Cooperation are progressing. The Agreement will provide greater scope to develop defence relations between the two countries, including negotiations for a Defence Materiel and Procurement Agreement.

We also noted the impending conclusion of Investment Promotion and Protection, which seek to protect investments in either country by ensuring that such investments enjoy fair and equitable treatment and imposes an obligation on each country to accord the other Most Favoured Nation status. Progress is also very well advanced towards finalising a Double Taxation Agreement.

Finally, Prime Minister Erdogan accepted an invitation to visit Australia as a guest-of-government at a mutually convenient time. I look forward to welcoming Mr Erdogan and showing him first-hand the important place that the ANZAC tradition occupies in Australian national life.

26 April 2005