Extremists 'may be planning Anzac Day attack in Turkey'

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 18, 2017

2015 Anzac day centenary, Gallipoli, Turkey.25th April 2015.

Australia said on Thursday it had received information that terrorists may be planning to attack a World War One commemoration service at Gallipoli in Turkey later in the month.

Hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders annually make the trip to Gallipoli to mark the amphibious assaults on the peninsula in what is now western Turkey.

The Federal Government has updated travel advice to Turkey, and while Mr Tehan said the scheduled commemorations would continue as planned, all travellers should be aware of the risks.

"Unfortunately, in the current global environment, major events attract threats of varying degrees", Mr Tehan said.

The deputy commissioner for national security, Mike Phelan, said the Australian federal police had "confidence in the Turkish authorities to secure the peninsula and other celebrations in the area".

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said travel advice had been changed in response to the threats.

"Travel advice continues to recommend that travellers avoid large crowds and minimise time spent around potential targets for attack, including tourist sites. Regrettably Anzac Day is not immune", the foreign minister said. They have been told to consult the Smart Traveller advice for Turkey.

Turkish authorities have traditionally provided a high level of security at commemorations and are strengthening security.

"The Turkish authorities are taking this extremely seriously".

"For obvious reasons, we don't go into the details of the threat or where the information comes from", he said.

"That is why, right now, the fearless men and women of our defence forces are targeting the terrorists in Iraq and Syria and our police and intelligence agencies are working so tirelessly to keep us safe".

Around 500 people have registered they are planning to attend, including over 250 Australians.

"It is nothing more specific than that".

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