Draw to determine Anzac Day visitors
ÇANAKKALE - Anatolia News Agency
Many soldiers from both the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) and the Turkish side were killed in the Gallipoli landing during World War I. DHA photoThe Turkish Foreign Ministry will allow 10,500 Australians to visit Çanakkale province on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli and the participants will be determined with a drawing, similar to a system used for Turks visiting Mecca during hajj.
The 98th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing will be remembered in Çanakkale province late this month. Many soldiers from both the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) and the Turkish side were killed in the Gallipoli landing during World War I. Australian Victoria Gov. Alex Chernov and a delegation accompanying him met with Çanakkale Gov. Güngör Azim Tuna for the preparations of the dawn service yesterday.
Tuna said the Turkish Foreign Ministry would set a limit in 2015 of 10,500 people to attend the dawn service that is annually held in Çanakkale’s Gallipoli. In 2012 around 5,000 people attended the dawn service in Gallipoli, however, more visitors are expected in 2015, the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, which took place at a dawn.
Australian Consul General in Çanakkale Nicholas Sergi said those people will be determined with a drawing.
“The two countries are still discussing how to manage and arrange hosting more people. There will be a drawing system for the 10,500 people who will attend the dawn service. There will be different drawings for different groups, such as those whose ancestors fought here and those who have relatives in the army at the moment,” Sergi said.
Tuna said the Turkish and Australian governments had held meetings on the 100th anniversary. “Our Foreign Ministry set a limit of 8,000 people from Australia, 2,000 people from New Zealand and 500 people for protocol, in total 10,500 people, to attend the 100th anniversary that will be held at Anzac Cove. There is a limited number. If more Australians come, they may not go there but can find a place near the area [where the ceremonies are held].”
The Battle of Gallipoli and the Çanakkale Battles, also known as the Gallipoli Campaign, took place on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey between April 1915 and January 1916 during the First World War.
A joint British and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Istanbul and secure a sea route to Russia. Anzac formed the backbone of a 200,000-man British-led army that landed at Gallipoli. The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides. The campaign resonated profoundly among all nations involved.