Alcohol banned at Gallipoli

Last updated 20:11 23/06/2014
Gallipoli travel
Joe Armao
ONE FOR THE ROAD: Young Aussies and Kiwis gather on Backpacker Street, Istanbul before heading to Galipolli.

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Kiwis will no longer be able to raise a toast to their Anzac ancestors at Gallipoli, as the Turkish Government has passed a law banning alcohol at the commemorative site.

The new law, passed last week, changes the status of Gallipoli peninsula from a national park to a special historical area, Turkish news website Hurriyet Daily News reported. 

This status prohibits the consumption of alcohol there, and anyone who breaches the ban will be fined 5000 Turkish Liras (NZ$2672).

According to Hurriyet Daily News, main opposition Republican People's Party deputy Ali Saribas opposed the bill during its parliamentary debate, saying that on April 25, the grandchildren of Anzac soldiers will be camped in the open air during dawn services, "drinking wine, in accordance with their culture".

But a ban on local vendors selling alcohol to visitors on the Gallipoli peninsula has been in place since 2003, due to the increasingly drunken antics of some Australian and New Zealand backpackers at the sacred site. 

Organisers of the services extended this to a total ban in time for the 90th anniversary in 2005, in an attempt to prevent alcohol from being brought onto the site.

Many still criticised the "party atmosphere" of the 90th anniversary in 2005, when 20,000 pilgrims drank alcohol, listened to rock music, including Bee Gees hit Stayin' Alive, and left the site strewn with rubbish.

The Turkish Government has imposed a strict cap on attendance at next year's centenary commemorations, setting the maximum capacity at 10,500, of which 2000 places are available to New Zealanders.


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