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Anzac Day at Gallipoli 2006

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Veterans' Affairs

09 March 2006

Anzac Day at Gallipoli 2006

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Veterans' Affairs, Rt Hon Winston Peters and Hon Rick Barker, today outlined arrangements for the organisation of the 2006 ANZAC Day commemorations on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.

“Last year’s 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings saw over 20,000 visitors attend the ANZAC Day ceremonies, putting pressure on facilities and organisational arrangements.

"This year, similar numbers of visitors are expected. New Zealand and Australia have been working with Turkish authorities to ensure that the 2006 ceremonies run smoothly for visitors,“ the two Ministers said.

The ANZAC commemorative sites lie within the Gallipoli Peace Park, established by Turkey to preserve the Gallipoli battlefields for posterity.

“The Gallipoli peninsula is sovereign Turkish territory”, the Ministers emphasized. The area is sacred to Turkey, New Zealand, Australia and other countries as the site of the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign, in which many thousands of young soldiers lost their lives. Today it is a symbol of international reconciliation and peace.

"Extensive arrangements are being made in cooperation with Turkey to ensure that visitors can continue to take part in the annual ceremonies.”

Audiovisual links between the main commemorative sites of ANZAC Cove (Dawn Service), Lone Pine (Australian National Service) and Chunuk Bair New Zealand National Service) will be tested in 2006. At future commemorations these will enable visitors at any one of the sites to follow proceedings at the other two. Bus transport arrangements have been changed to give visitors access to the southern entrance of ANZAC Cove. Improved access ways to and within the main sites will help visitor movement and access to essential services. Details of these arrangements will be displayed shortly on the MFAT web site.

“Alcohol will continue to be banned from the sites to ensure that a solemn and reflective tone can be maintained at the commemorations. All visitors will go through a screening process at security checkpoints. To cater for the growing numbers of participants and to facilitate security screening, visitors are asked to leave the bulk of their gear on the bus which transports them and to bring only the essentials with them on to the sites.”

The Gallipoli Peace Park is a beautiful but isolated place. Weather conditions are unpredictable, and visitors are asked to make provision for warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear. There will be limited supplies of food and drinks available at the sites, but visitors are asked to be especially careful about litter. Improved, but still limited, toilet facilities will also be available.

The two Ministers acknowledged with gratitude the enormous effort put into the organisation of the commemorations by the Turkish authorities.

“The Turkish authorities spare no effort to ensure that the commemorations can take place in conditions of orderliness, safety and security. It is important that visitors follow at all times the lawful directions of the Turkish authorities. It is important too to acknowledge the generous hospitality Turkey offers to our nationals during the commemorations. New Zealanders will undoubtedly wish to reflect that in their dealings with their hosts and in their general conduct on the peninsula.”

The Turkish authorities will be assisted during the commemorations by Australian and New Zealand officials, and employees who will help with organisation and the running of the ceremonies. On the New Zealand side, agencies represented at Gallipoli will include Veterans' Affairs, MFAT, Police and DPMC. There will be an official New Zealand delegation to the ceremonies. Details of this will be announced shortly.


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