AN­ZAC Day 2018: Where to go, what to know

To com­mem­o­rate their an­ces­tors who fought at the Bat­tle of Gal­lipoli dur­ing World War I, Aus­tralian and New Zealan­ders visit the Gal­lipoli Penin­sula to at­tend the Dawn Ser­vice

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Feature&Lounge - Leyla Yvonne Ergil

NEXT Wed­nes­day, April 25 will be the 103rd an­niver­sary of the Aus­tralian and New Zealand Army Corps’ (AN­ZAC) land­ing on the shores of Gal­lipoli penin­sula in 1915 to fight for Al­lied forces against the Ot­toman Em­pire in World War I.

Al­though the bat­tle ended in hun­dreds of thou­sands of ca­su­al­ties and the Al­lied forces’ even­tual re­treat, the date is com­mem­o­rated ev­ery year as a hol­i­day of re­mem­brance by the na­tions who took part, who also re­fer to it as An­zac Day in ref­er­ence to the Aus­tralian and New Zealand sol­diers who fought in this bat­tle so very far from their homes.

Since then, ev­ery year it has be­come a tra­di­tion and a rite of pas­sage for cit­i­zens of Aus­tralia and New Zealand to once again travel to the other end of the world to com­mem­o­rate the sol­diers and lives lost in the Bat­tle of Gal­lipoli, also re­ferred to as the Dar­danelles Cam­paign, which took place on the Dar­danelles Straight lo­cated on Gal­lipoli penin­sula in Çanakkale.

This year marks the 103rd an­niver­sary of the AN­ZAC’s heavy losses in the Bat­tle of Gal­lipoli and as is the case ev­ery year, tens of thou­sands of AN­ZACs are ex­pected to come out to take part in what many Aus­tralians and New Zealan­ders con­sider a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity to pay homage to the thou­sands of lives lost.

The com­mem­o­ra­tion takes place in Gal­lipoli Penin­sula His­tor­i­cal Na­tional Park and is of course only pos­si­ble due to the co­op­er­a­tion and or­ga­ni­za­tion put forth by the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment. There­fore, it is also cru­cial for vis­i­tors to un­der­stand and em­brace the im­por­tant se­cu­rity mea­sures that will be in place. There is a lot of walk­ing to do and not many ameni­ties to be had, in ad­di­tion to the fact that par­tic­i­pants will be spend­ing the evening in the el­e­ments. As a re­sult, the widely ac­cepted way to take part in the com­mem­o­ra­tion is with a tour, of which dozens are avail­able from com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing abroad and in Tur­key. Not only does this en­sure safe trans­porta­tion to and from the site, but will also pro­vide the re­quired reg­is­tra­tion for this year’s cer­e­monies as vis­i­tors will be re­quired to carry at­ten­dance passes at all times. Based in Tur­key, Fez Travel of­fers a va­ri­ety of tours for An­zac Day com­mem­o­ra­tion.

Ar­riv­ing by pub­lic trans­port, taxi or pri­vate car is also ex­tremely risky as reg­u­lar ser­vices and en­trances may be closed. As a re­sult, there may be no way to re­con­nect with a taxi and find­ing a park­ing spot may be nearly im­pos­si­ble. Fur­ther­more, you must have an at­ten­dance pass to be ad­mit­ted, which are lim­ited, so se­cur­ing one through a tour com­pany is a wise move.

Upon ar­rival, coaches will be di­rected to a lo­ca­tion sev­eral kilo­me­ters away from the site for reg­is­tra­tion. Keep in mind that both the coach reg­is­tra­tion process and pick-up may take hours due to the vast num­bers of buses that need to be co­or­di­nated on site. Pas­sen­gers will be given tote bags with their bus reg­is­tra­tion num­bers to help fa­cil­i­tate pick-up the fol­low­ing day.

Cel­e­brated on April 25, the com­mem­o­ra­tion on Gal­lipoli penin­sula will be­gin on the evening of Tues­day, April 24, with the open­ing of the An­zac Com­mem­o­ra­tive Site at 10 p.m. A re­flec­tive ser­vice will be­gin at 11 p.m. fol­lowed by an overnight vigil with guest speak­ers giv­ing ad­dresses, telling folk sto­ries and singing songs lead­ing up to the Dawn Ser­vice at 5:30 a.m. Ac­tor Rus­sell Crowe, whose di­rec­to­rial de­but just hap­pened to be “The Wa­ter Diviner,” a film chron­i­cling the epic bat­tle and its after­math, is ru­mored to be one of this year’s vis­it­ing guests.

Fol­low­ing the Dawn Ser­vice, there will be three ser­vices held by Aus­tralians, Turks and New Zealan­ders, re­spec­tively. All na­tion­al­i­ties are wel­come at ev­ery ser­vice. The Aus­tralians’ Lone Pine Ser­vice will take place first at ap­prox­i­mately 9:30 a.m., fol­lowed by a ser­vice held at the Turk­ish 57th Reg­i­ment Memo­rial at 10 a.m. and a ser­vice held by New Zealan­ders at Chunuk Bair start­ing at 11:30 a.m., con­clud­ing the event.

Keep in mind it may be dif­fi­cult and nearly im­pos­si­ble to at­tend all four ser­vices as the sites are lo­cated a few kilo­me­ters from one an­other and re­quire nav­i­gat­ing rugged ter­rain and steep hills. For ex­am­ple, Lone Pine is ap­prox­i­mately 3.5 kilo­me­ters from the An­zac Com­mem­o­ra­tive Site, while Chunuk Bair is an ad­di­tional 3 kilo­me­ters fur­ther away.

Vis­i­tors will be re­quired to wear their at­ten­dance passes through­out the en­tire event and se­cu­rity mea­sures will be in place at all of the com­mem­o­ra­tion sites. The first site vis­ited will be the An­zac Com­mem­o­ra­tive Site, lo­cated ap­prox­i­mately 700 me­ters from the Beach Ceme­tery where buses will be drop­ping pas­sen­gers off. There will also be shut­tles avail­able for those un­able to walk the dis­tance. Par­tic­i­pants must also keep in mind that once they dis­em­bark, they will not be re­turn­ing to the buses un­til the fol­low­ing day, which could mean a pe­riod of 24 hours or more. There­fore, it is vi­tal that you take ev­ery­thing you could pos­si­bly need with you. How­ever, like fly­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally, there will be a num­ber of se­cu­rity mea­sures in place. There will be re­stric­tions on liq­uids, aerosols and gels and sep­a­rate screen­ing re­quire­ments for elec­tron­ics. All flu­ids must be kept in con­tain­ers of 100 milliliters or less and placed in in­di­vid­ual, clear zip-lock bags that must not ex­ceed 20x20 cen­time­ters. There will be no camp­ing equip­ment al­lowed and all lug­gage brought along should not ex­ceed the size of a car­ryon bag. Wa­ter and lim­ited food items will be avail­able on site and al­co­hol is pro­hib­ited. Par­tic­i­pants are ad­vised to bring non­per­ish­able snack items and pro­tec­tive cloth­ing for the vast spec­trum of weather con­di­tions that could tran­spire and of course, sturdy and strong walk­ing shoes for the trek.

Thou­sands at­tend the dawn ser­vice mark­ing An­zac Day in Gal­lipoli to mark the 102st an­niver­sary of An­zac’s un­suc­cess­ful Gal­lipoli Cam­paign in World War I.

A bag­piper plays in mem­ory of lost An­zac lives dur­ing the Al­lies’ Gal­lipoli Cam­paign.

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