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Destinations

Visiting Gallipoli, Turkey for ANZAC day commemorations

On the 25th April 1915 brave Australian and New Zealand troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in an attempt to destabilize the Ottoman Empire, a German ally in the First World War. More than 8,000 soldiers were tragically killed. Today, Australians and New Zealanders gather each year in commemoration of the lives lost in Turkey. They were known as ANZACs.

What does ANZAC stand for and where is ANZAC Day Held?

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and ANZAC day happens in Gallipoli Turkey on April 24th and 25th. ANZAC Day is also commemorated in Australia but a flight to Turkey for a trip to the actual site of the 1915 landing in Gallipoli is considered as the ultimate spiritual experience of commemorative value. The ANZAC Day Commemorative Site is located within the Gallipoli Historical National Park with the Australian and New Zealand services taking place in two different locations. Feel the atmosphere filled with sad but proud remembrance for the thousands that died that year.

ANZAC Day Service Times

The main ceremonies happen of the 25th April and start with a dawn service which is the time of day when the original ANZACs landed in Gallipoli. The service starts at 5.30am and continues until 6.15am, and happens at the site on North Beach. The Australian memorial Service at Lone Pine starts at 10am and goes on until 10.45am. The Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial Service takes place between 11.15am and 12pm at the 57th Regiment Memorial. 12.30pm until 13.15pm sees the New Zealand Memorial Service in Chunuk Bair. Be prepared for long walks to and between services if you want to go to more than one.

Lone Pine

Lone Pine is the site of the Australian service. As you can see, it attracts a large crowd.

Getting to ANZAC Day in Turkey

Flights to Turkey are available from most major international airports around the World and most people stay in Sultanahmet in Istanbul. Travelling from Sultahnamet to Gallipoli for ANZEC day takes around five hours by coach so most people arrive the night before and stay at ANZAC Cove for the night to catch the Dawn Service. You can travel independently by local buses or use the services of a tour operator. Many ANZAC tours will not just take you to ANZAC Day but also to local attractions in Istanbul just to make sure that your Turkish holiday is filled with as much attractions of interest as possible. Interesting sites worth seeing on your way to ANZAC Day include a visit to the Hagia Sophia, a remarkable architectural structure from the Byzantine era and the delicate tile design of the Blue Mosque. The Egyptian Obelisk and Serpentine Column in the Roman Hippodrome are more wonders to take in on your way by tour bus to ANZAC Day. Of course, there’s always the unforgettable and mostly unavoidable shopping stop at the Grand Bazaar with more than 4,000 shops and a range of art, textiles and food to make your mind and mouth water.

Image Credits

Gallery image: Courtesy of flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebr/423858157/
Lone Pine image: Courtesy of flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frenchy_ross/11793037/

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