Gallipoli ready to host Anzac service attendees

Gallipoli ready to host Anzac service attendees

MELBOURNE - Anadolu Agency
Gallipoli ready to host Anzac service attendees

Thousands of people visit the memorial for fallen soldiers in Çanakkale. DHA photo

The northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Gallipoli peninsula is preparing for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli next year. Every year, thousands of people visit the memorial and graveyard for fallen soldiers in Çanakkale, where a Dawn Service is held in memory of the fallen.

Çanakkale Mayor Ülgür Gökhan said they would accept everyone who wants to attend the commemorations next year. 

For next year’s commemorations on April 25, 2015, it has only allotted 10,000 places - 8,000 for Australians and 2,000 for New Zealanders. But more than 42,500 people from Australia and almost 1,000 people from New Zealand have applied to attend commemorations. 

Gökhan said the Australian and New Zealand governments had imposed the quota, adding, “Our door is open to everyone. If necessary, we will host them in our houses. There is no quota.” 

Gökhan said under normal circumstances, they could accept up to 50,000 people for the commemorations, adding, “We want to increase the number of attendees. There may be other people from other countries, not only from these two countries. We are open to everyone. If necessary we can start a campaign to host these guests in our houses.”

The people who will attend the commemorations will be determined with a lottery that will be drawn at the end of February or mid of March. “The number of applications is fantastic,” Michael Ronaldson said in a report in Sunday’s Sydney Morning Herald. He added most applicants would be disappointed.

The Çanakkale Governor’s Office also made a statement saying only a certain number of people would be able to attend the commemorations, but a second commemoration ceremony would be held for those who would not have the chance to attend the first one. This ceremony will be held on Aug. 8 or 9, 2015. Turkish Foreign Ministry officials also stated there was no quota for those who want to attend the commemorations.