Turkey Travel Warning: Advice for Anzac Day services at Gallipoli 2016

Richard Laycock 1 April 2016

Australian Government issues warning for Australians planning on travelling to Turkey to commemorate Anzac Day.

Gallipolli Trenches

"Reconsider your need to travel" is the warning from the Australian Government for Aussies planning on commemorating Anzac Day in Turkey this year.

The advisory comes of the back of indications that terrorists may be planning attacks on urban centres in Turkey, such as the capitol, Ankara, and the historical capitol, Istanbul.

Areas frequented by foreigners have been recently attacked, with further attacks on urban centres expected.

The advisory stated that "Australians visiting Turkey for Anzac Day should limit the time they spend in Ankara and Istanbul."

The Government has also warned that those travelling to Turkey should reconsider their need to travel to any destination within 50km of the Syrian border. A do not travel warning is in place for any destination within 10km of the Syrian border.

In regions nearest the Syrian border, there is an increased threat of kidnapping. Terrorist organisations operating in Iraq and Syria have displayed their penchant for kidnapping and in some cases murdering westerners. These groups have also demonstrated their ability to traverse the border into Turkey.

Smartraveller has also urged Australians to avoid travel to the city Diyarbakir, one of the largest cities in southeastern Turkey, where a blast killed seven police officers and injured at least 20 others earlier today.

Australians are being asked to exercise a high degree of caution in Turkey overall.

Tourism in Turkey suffering

According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for Turkey, the number of foreigners arriving in Turkey in February 2016 decreased by 10.32% when compared with the same month the year before. While the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is yet to release data for Australians departing to Turkey in February, the data for Australian visitors seems to be bucking the trend. 

Year on year for the month of January, Australians heading to Turkey was up 16.22%, whereas the total number of visitors going to Turkey in January was down -6.44%.

April is peak time for Australians heading to Turkey, with last year seeing record numbers of Aussies flock to Gallipoli Centenary celebrations. This means there should be a regression back to the mean for Australian departures during the month of April.

Information for Australians planning on travelling to Gallipoli

If you're still planning travelling to Turkey for Anzac Day services, below is a general travel guide:

  • Alcohol is not permitted. Drunk people will be refused entry.
  • All commemorative services are held in a national park.
  • Temperatures dip below 0 degrees in the mornings and evenings.
  • The weather during the day can be very warm and windy.
  • Services can last up to 30 hours.
  • There is no shelter at any of the commemorative sites or within the Anzac area.
  • Food and refreshments are available on site.
  • Large crowds are expected.
  • Swimming at Anzac Cove and North Beach is prohibited.

Australian Embassies and consulates

Australian Embassy, Ankara
Mailing address:Ugur Mumcu Caddesi No. 88
Gaziosmanpasa 06700
Telephone:(+90 312) 459 9500
Fax:(+90 312) 446 4827
Australian Consulate, Canakkale
Mailing address:Kolin Hotel Bogazkent Mevkii L-2
Kepez 17100
Telephone:(+90 286) 218 1721
Fax:(+90 286) 218 1724
Australian Consulate-General, Istanbul
Mailing address:16th Floor, Suzer Plaza (Ritz Carlton Hotel)
Askerocagi Caddesi No. 15, Elmadag
Telephone:(+90 212) 393 8542
Fax:(+90 212) 243 1332
More travel stories

Picture: dinosmichail / Shutterstock.com

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