Tour Operator's Response to Anzac Ballot News

Posted by Dr V John Basarin on September 26, 2012

Wednesday's announcement means more Gallipoli-2015 Anzac Ballot involvement, but no itinerary change.

The Australian Government has announced Anzac centenary commemorations at Gallipoli will be open to ticket holders decided by a ballot. The Government has stipulated:

  • A total of 10,000 places will be shared between Australia and New Zealand
  • On an 80/20 split, 8,000 Australians will be allocated tickets
  • In fairness to all those hoping to attend, entry will be decided by a ballot.

Gallipoli-2015 will now participate in the public consultation process taking place until November 2012, under the leadership of Project Manager Dr V John Basarin. Dr Basarin recently obtained his PhD in Anzac tourism and is a renowned expert on both Australian and Turkish Gallipoli heritage. He has been involved in past government initiatives, including the AE2 'Silent Anzac' project, and has made many past ministerial and parliamentary submissions.

This morning, Dr Basarin took interviews with radio stations 3LO and 3MP on the Anzac Ballot decision.

Gallipoli-2015 expects to be a regular attendee and strong contributor to the series of public forums, commencing during 2013. These forums will outline the Anzac Ballot process and how members of the public should register their interest in Dawn Service attendance.

Because this outcome has been anticipated for some time, the Gallipoli-2015 cruise already caters to a number of different scenarios. The itinerary includes a battlefield pilgrimage in the days leading up to 25th April 2015 and passengers enjoy a range of commemoration alternatives, including:

  • Land transfer arrangements to and from Anzac Cove for Dawn Service ticket holders
  • Onboard Dawn Service ceremony, with the ship moored as close to Anzac Cove as possible
  • Live big screen broadcast of proceedings at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli

It is anticipated that as many as 50,000 Australians will make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli during 2015, to commemorate the centenary of the ANZAC landing. While there had been some discussion about any ballot giving precedence to diggers' descendants, this option has been ruled out.

The Minister has not made public any thoughts about thousands of people who would wish to go to Gallipoli and are unsuccessful in the Anzac Ballot. This seems rather ironic that the Government has not considered the plight or wishes of many thousands of Australians who would want to witness the once-in-a life time event where it happened on its centenary. Although Gallipoli-2015 has a cruise ship planned from Istanbul to Gallipoli, where this announcement would not have any major impact on its participation at the commemorative events off Anzac Cove, the decision is seen as less than satisfactory for the wider Australian community.

If one looks at the map of Gallipoli closely, it is easy to see that there are many locations along the Aegean Sea, both North and South of Anzac Cove that people could congregate and be part of this unique event. The technology of today would allow setting up of big screens to follow the ceremonies happening at Anzac Commemorative Area. With the additional security measures and other required facilities, such arrangements would have a cost. The Australian people should be given a chance to exercise their choice on such an important matter. It is entirely possible that people would not mind spending extra funds for such an important event.

About Gallipoli-2015

The Gallipoli-2015 Epic Cruise has been two years in development. It promises to be an exceptional once-in-a-lifetime experience, mostly because the tour is about more than one moment.

Ten days of thoughtfully planned itinerary includes themed activities, presentations by renowned Gallipoli specialists, event participation and destinations unique to only this tour (eg. site of AE2 submarine - 'The Silent Anzac').

Gallipoli-2015 has attracted recognised Australian and Turkish authors, historians and battlefield experts because the essence of the experience is about:

  • Promoting understanding and friendships;
  • Growing perspectives from all sides;
  • Respecting the dignity of the occasion.

For more information please contact:

Dr V John Basarin Project Manager, Gallipoli-2015