ANZAC Day Terror Plot: ISIS Attack At Gallipoli Service Foiled
Turkish authorities have arrested a suspected Islamic State member they believe was planning to attack a World War I commemoration at Gallipoli attended by hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders.
The suspect, a Syrian national, was detained in Tekirdag, a northwestern province close to the Gallipoli peninsula, a Tekirdag police spokesman said.
Every year, Australians and New Zealanders travel to Turkey for memorial services on April 25 commemorating the failed 1915 military campaign by ANZAC and allied forces to drive Ottoman troops from Gallipoli and the Dardanelles region.
Heavy security was put in place ahead of the commemoration, while Turkish authorities banned locals from attending due to concerns.
Security was a high priority ahead of this year's ANZAC services in the wake of the Christchurch and Sri Lanka terror attacks. Tensions were also heightened following controversial comments made by the Turkish President in the wake of the New Zealand attacks.
ISIS has carried out several bombings in Turkey between 2015 and 2016, which killed 200 people in total.
Some 1,400 Australians and New Zealanders have registered for this year’s service in Turkey, despite President Erdogan’s remarks about sending anti-Islamic visitors home in coffins like their grandfathers.
"Your grandparents came, some of them returned in coffins," the leader said.
"If you come as well like your grandfathers, be sure that you will be gone like your grandfathers."
The remarks sparked criticism from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who summoned the Turkish ambassador to Parliament House for a meeting. A spokesperson for President Erdogan later said his comments had been "taken out of context".
Despite security concerns, the number of registered attendants for this year's Gallipoli service was similar to that of last year.
In preparing for the Dawn Service, nothing was left to chance.
“In many respects, this is probably one of the safest places in Turkey on the 25 of April," Master of Ceremonies, Major General Mark Kelly, told 10 News First on Wednesday.