Thousands of people from Australia and New Zealand will arrive in Turkey next week for two days of commemoration for their fellow countrymen that lost their lives here during World War I. Anzac Day marks the anniversary of a disastrous campaign for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps to make a push into Turkish territories. The Ottoman army staved off their advance during this World War I campaign in Gallipoli, or Gelibolu as it is known in Turkish, in western Turkey. This key site sitting on the coast of Çanakkale, or the Dardanelles Strait, the only waterway that reached the then-capital Istanbul, has annually hosted crowds from New Zealand and Australia long after the nations set aside their differences.
On April 24-25, visitors will hold remembrance services in the battlefields where Anzac soldiers died. To support the large influx of visitors, local authorities also put the final touches on logistics work for transportation and accommodation for the thousands of visiting tourists. Ahmet Çelik, head of the local chapter of a national association of travel agents, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they expect "a large number of visitors" and booking rates in hotels in the region have almost reached full capacity.
This year, the 104th anniversary of the first landing by Anzac troops will be marked. In the eight-month campaign, more than 44,000 British, Irish, French, Australian, New Zealand, Indian and Canadian troops and nearly 87,000 Ottoman soldiers were killed.