MFaT issues unhelpful advice for those travelling to Gallipoli


It is Gallipoli season again and thousands of Kiwis will be making their pilgrimage to ANZAC Cove.

I was lucky enough to go last year for the centenary celebrations and it was a long and tiring but fantastic trip.

This year with tensions in the region escalating and terror attacks in Turkey, MFaT has issued warnings.

New Zealanders travelling to Gallipoli for Anzac Day commemorations are being warned to be careful following suicide bombings and civil unrest in Turkey.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) updated its travel advice to Turkey yesterday night ahead of the events at Gallipoli on April 25.  

“If you are travelling to Gallipoli for Anzac Day we advise that you minimise your transit time in Ankara and Istanbul and avoid tourist areas in these cities,” MFAT said.

Areas in the south-east of Turkey carry an extreme or high risk level.

“We advise exercising caution elsewhere in Turkey, including on the Gallipoli peninsula, due to the threat from terrorism and potential for civil unrest,” MFAT says.

There is no ballot for the 2016 Anzac Day services at Gallipoli. Australia and New Zealand will conduct the popular dawn service at 5.30am after an overnight vigil. Later that morning, New Zealand will conduct its own memorial service at Chunuk Bair.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop also announced upgraded travel advice for Istanbul and Ankara yesterday, following the deaths of more than 80 people in four separate suicide bombings so far this year.

“Terrorist groups continue to threaten further attacks, including targeting tourists and Westerners,” she said.

She acknowledged that many Australians were planning to travel to Gallipoli for Anzac Day commemorations.

There was no specific threat to Anzac Day services, she said.

Minimise transit time in Ankara and Istanbul? Are they serious? You basically can’t get to Gallipoli without going through Istanbul, and then you spend half your time on buses with thousands of others slowly driving through the streets of Istanbul. There is basically no other way to get down onto the peninsula. And it is a five hour drive. So their advice is next to useless.

For what it is worth the Turks are really helpful if you are known as a Kiwi or Aussie…the problem is it isn’t them blowing places up.

It’s worth the trip, but these warnings are useless.

– Newshub


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  • 10cents

    MFAT are a waste of space. Arrogant and unprofessional. These earnings are issued so they can say ‘I told you so’ if something did actually happen. Perhaps there is an insurance angle on it as well.

  • rantykiwi

    The worst thing about MFaT issuing warnings is that pretty much negates travel insurance for anyone going to Turkey.

    • pisces8284 .

      Most travel insurance doesn’t cover you for terrorism anyway

  • spanishbride

    I have never had a strong urge to travel the world as I love New Zealand and haven’t seen all of it yet. I am conservative not only politically but by nature too. I am risk averse which makes me Ying to my husband’s Yang. Terrorism has affected me in two ways.

    One, I am obsessed about doing all I can to reduce the chance of it happening in NZ and two, I will never visit countries where there is a realistic terrorism threat.

    Even boarding a plane now makes me worry in ways it never used to. This is the terror part of terrorism. I don’t feel safe anymore. On the other hand it makes me do extremely risky things like speak out strongly against Islam. If I could be killed anyway just because I am an Infidel I might as well go down fighting.Terrorists have given me something to fight for and my beautiful democratic country where I enjoy equal rights is worth fighting and dying for.

  • Red_NZ

    I got the feeling something like this was coming after Australia had planned to cancel their Lone Pine commemorations.

  • Eddie

    Does MFAT have any advice about wearing a Jewish skullcap there, given ISIS specifically threatened to kill Jews?

  • pisces8284 .

    My Turkish daughter in law works in Turkey for an UK based travel company that provides holidays for people travelling there. It has just gone into liquidation, due in no small part to warnings like this, Their tourism in on the Mediterranean, a long way away from trouble spots. But the warnings say it COULD happen. If you listened to what COULD happen you would never travel anywhere

  • Superman

    The warnings won’t help unless you decide that because of them you are not going and there actually is an attack at the time you would have been there. On the other hand if there is no warning I can just see the family of victims demanding compensation because they weren’t warned. If you read the MFAT warnings you will see that there is a warning in just about every country that terrorist attacks are possible and that you should avoid public gatherings and demonstrations. Nothing specific.