Australians warned of terror threat for Gallipoli service
AUSTRALIANS travelling to Gallipoli for Anzac services next year have been warned about the threat of terror attacks.
In new travel advice issued yesterday, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Australians to exercise a "high degree of caution" in Turkey "because of the threat of terrorist attack".
Around 8000 Australians were expected to travel to Gallipoli in April to mark the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landings. Up to 1900 New Zealanders will also make the trip.
Australia currently has a higher national terror threat level.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott raised the threat level from medium to high in September.
New Zealand raised its threat level from very low to low last month.
Australia's foreign affairs department said the security environment in Turkey was volatile because of wars in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, where the militant group Islamic State is battling Kurdish forces.
"Turkey's long and porous border with Syria provides terrorist groups the opportunity to travel relatively easily between Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
Spill-over from the Syrian conflict could lead to attacks against targets in Turkey, including Ankara, Istanbul or areas close to the Syrian border."
The travel advice also applied to the Gallipoli peninsula, the department said.
No direct threats had been made against Australians in Turkey or against commemoration events, but the stability of the region could change between now and April 2015.
On Friday, the department also told Australians to "maintain a high level of awareness" when travelling to South East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
It said Australia and Australians were viewed by the Islamic State as a legitimate target for terror attacks.
"Even in cases where attacks may not specifically target Australian interests, Australians could be harmed in indiscriminate attacks or attacks aimed at others."