Ballot Ticket Holders Information

E-NEWS FOR GALLIPOLI 2015 COMMEMORATIONS IN TURKEY - Issue 6

E-news aims to keep you informed of critical dates in the ballot process and provides helpful advice on how to prepare and what to expect at the Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015.

Issuing of attendance passes

Attendance passes (tickets) are about to be printed. All ballot accounts will be locked for the printing process and no further changes to passport details or your accompanying person will be permitted.

The passes will be produced in batches, with the first passes being printed for individuals who have all passport and travel details recorded in their ballot account, for both themselves and their accompanying person (if they are taking one).

Attendance passes will be dispatched from mid-March 2015. If you have not received your attendance pass/es by the start of April, please contact Ticketek on 1300 364 002 or email gallipoli2015@dva.gov.au. If you applied for and were approved to receive an Assisted Mobility pass, this will be sent to you separately from the attendance pass/es.

The attendance pass/es will be sent to the primary pass holder, at their residential address. An information booklet will accompany the pass/es, which will help in your preparations for attending the Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli.

Departing Australia before April?

If you are leaving Australia (or your usual place of residence) before April and do not receive your attendance pass/es prior to your departure, Ticketek will operate a pop-up office in Turkey where you can collect your pass/es. The office will be located in a hotel in the town of Eceabat, on the Gallipoli peninsula at:

Villa Bagci Pansiyon
Ismetpasa Mahallesi
Agaderesi Sokak, No:4,
Eceabat 17900

Directions are available on the hotel’s website at http://www.villabagci.com/en/how-to-reach-us.

The office will operate for attendance pass pick up from 9.00am – 11.00am and 3.00pm – 5.00pm, daily from 20 to 23 April 2015. Your attendance pass/es will be available to pick up on proof of identification of the primary pass holder - make sure you bring your passport for identification.

If you are not able to pick up your attendance passes from Villa Bagci Pansiyon, there will be processes in place for collecting your attendance pass/es when you arrive at Gallipoli for the commemorations.

Do you have your visa for Turkey?

All Australian passport holders must obtain an entry visa before you leave home. This can be done online. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Visa application website, www.evisa.gov.tr, takes you through the simple process and includes frequently asked questions. There is a charge of approximately US$60 per visa.

New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to enter Turkey (as long as your stay is for tourist travel and no longer than 90 days). Individuals travelling on passports issued by countries other than Australia or New Zealand may also need an entry visa. The list of countries which require a visa is available on the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Visa application website, www.evisa.gov.tr.

You should be aware that a Google search of ‘visa for Turkey’ will provide links to several third party websites. These companies advertise a service to assist individuals with obtaining their entry visa for Turkey. However, you should understand that these companies will charge an additional fee, sometimes double the cost of the visa, for the service.

Have you registered your travel with DFAT?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides travel advice for Turkey on its Smartraveller website, www.smartraveller.gov.au. It is recommended that Australians travelling to Turkey for the 2015 Anzac Day Commemorations monitor this advice and register their details at www.smartraveller.gov.au.

Registration means you will be advised of any changes to the travel advisory and allows DFAT to get in touch with you or your family in the event of an emergency. The Australian Government travel advisory for Turkey will be kept under close review in the lead up to Anzac Day.

Check your travel insurance

Travel insurance is a must-have for overseas travel, so make sure that you have organised cover before you leave Australia or your home location. Overseas medical care and repatriation is very expensive. If something unexpected happens and you don’t have the appropriate travel insurance, you are personally liable for all costs.

You should make sure your insurance covers all the activities you will be undertaking and any pre-existing medical conditions. It is important to be clear about what is covered under your policy; if in doubt, talk to your insurer.

Assisted Mobility

The capacity to provide assisted mobility support at the Gallipoli commemorations is extremely limited. To be considered for assisted mobility support, you must have completed an application form and provided this to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) before you travel to Turkey.

As advised previously in E-news, in order to obtain assisted mobility support, all applicants for this support were required to submit a certification form (for direct descendant sons and daughters of Gallipoli veterans) or an application form (for all other assisted mobility applicants) to DVA, in addition to indicating their need in their ballot application.

Applications for assisted mobility support officially closed on 1 February 2015. This was in order to allow time for assessment of applications and to make final infrastructure arrangements. To date some 500 Australians have requested assisted mobility support (each with their accompanying person).

Due to the high demand for assistance and the limited support available, we are unable to guarantee that any further requests will be met. Visitors should therefore carefully consider their ability to safely travel to the commemorations.

Assisted mobility passes will be mailed to approved applicants in March 2015.

Further information on Assisted Mobility Support is available on the Gallipoli 2015 website at http://www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au/documents/e-news_speced.pdf.

Conditions of Entry to the commemorations

Strict Conditions of Entry will apply to the Gallipoli Anzac Day services.

By using an attendance pass (ticket) on 24-25 April 2015 to gain entry to the Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli, the bearer of the ticket acknowledges and accepts all ballot terms and conditions (available on the Gallipoli 2015 website at http://www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au/terms_conditions.htm), as well as the Conditions of Entry outlined below.

  1. Entry to the Anzac Commemorative Site to attend the 2015 Anzac Day Dawn Service is only permitted for individuals holding a valid ticket issued in their name via the Gallipoli 2015 ballot process, and invited official representatives.
  2. Entry into the Australian Memorial Service at Lone Pine is only permitted for individuals holding a valid ticket issued in their name via the Australian Gallipoli 2015 ballot process, and invited official representatives.
  3. Entry into the New Zealand Memorial Service at Chunuk Bair is only permitted for individuals holding a valid ticket issued in their name via the New Zealand Gallipoli 2015 ballot process, and invited official representatives.
  4. Attendees must comply with the terms and conditions of the Gallipoli 2015 Ballot.
  5. Attendees must obey the directions of Turkish authorities and official event staff at all times.
  6. Attendees will observe and maintain the solemnity and dignity of the commemorations and behave appropriately at all times.
  7. The Turkish, Australian and New Zealand Governments reserve the right to postpone, change or cancel the 2015 Anzac Commemorations should it be deemed appropriate to do so.
  8. Attendees enter the services at their own risk.
  9. Attendees will submit to security screening and searches when required by authorities. Attendees must also, on request of authorities, display the requested proof of identity and their valid ticket for screening and verification purposes.
  10. Any prohibited items will be confiscated and may be destroyed.
  11. Smoking in enclosed spaces is prohibited.
  12. Intoxicated persons will be refused entry to the commemorations.
  13. All attendees give consent for their likeness to be used in relation to the recording and transmission of the broadcasts of the Gallipoli 2015 commemorations.
  14. The Turkish, Australian and New Zealand Governments reserve the right to refuse entry or to remove any person from the commemorations and/or to revoke attendance passes should any of the terms and conditions of entry be breached or an attendee act in any manner inconsistent with the dignity and solemnity of the commemorations.

Arriving at Gallipoli

All visitors to the Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli will go through multiple attendance pass (ticket) scanning points and security screening processes. Details are available in the information booklet that will accompany your attendance passes and in an additional information booklet that will be provided when you arrive at Gallipoli.

Prior to arriving at the Gallipoli peninsula, all visitors should have their belongings for overnight packed in a separate day-pack or carry bag ready to disembark at the Kabatepe Ottopark. Visitors should ensure they do no have any prohibited items in their carry bag. Visitors should also have their attendance pass and passport on their person ready for validation.

It is important to note that all visitors arriving on the Gallipoli peninsula must go to the first ‘check point’ at Akbaş (9km north of the Kilye Koyu junction), for attendance pass validation and coach registration.

All visitors must make sure that they arrive at Akbaş by 1.30am on 25 April, at the latest. Arriving at Akbaş by 1.30am will ensure you have enough time for the registration and validation process at Akbaş, then to travel across the peninsula, disembark your bus or coach at Kabatepe and move through all further check points before entering the Anzac Commemorative Site.

The road to the Anzac Commemorative Site closes strictly at 3am and no late arrivals will be permitted under any circumstances.

Visitors are reminded that private vehicles and taxis will not be permitted access to the Gallipoli peninsula. All visitors arriving in private vehicles and taxis will be directed to Akbaş to have their attendance pass validated.

Visitors arriving in private vehicles and taxis should note that it is their responsibility to get from Akbaş to the second check point at Kabatepe, which is a distance of almost 20km from Akbaş. Visitors are also responsible for their departure from the peninsula and returning to their vehicle at the conclusion of the commemorations.

A map of the Gallipoli peninsula and surrounding area shows the key locations for the arrival, attendance pass scan and security processes at Gallipoli will provided in the information booklet that will accompany the distribution of attendance passes

Be prepared for your overnight stay at Gallipoli

All visitors attending the Dawn Service will spend most of the night at Gallipoli. It is important to be prepared for the reality of this, including how crowded it will feel with 10,500 people present.

When you arrive at the Anzac Commemorative Site, you can sit in the stands or on the grassed areas. The stands will hold 50% of visitors and the grassed areas will hold 50% of visitors. Remember that seating is not, and can not be, reserved and is available on a first-in-best-dressed basis. Large groups may not be able to sit together. Dedicated stands will be reserved (with non-allocated seating) for pre-approved assisted mobility pass holders. These dedicated stands (for assisted mobility pass holders) will take approximately 20% of all seating available in the stands.

There will be no room for visitors to lie down overnight, either in the stands or on the grass. If you are seated on the grass, you will be asked to make room for others as they arrive. You will also be asked to stand before the commencement of the Dawn Service while the final visitors enter the site and during the Dawn Service.

During the night, a reflective program is broadcast on big screens and speakers. The program has a variety of content, from documentaries to films and readings and is an important part of the overnight experience. You should be aware that the site will remain busy overnight with visitors continually arriving and moving around, there are few quiet periods and most people get little or no sleep overnight.

The weather at Gallipoli can be extremely variable and may be very cold, wet and windy overnight and very hot during the day. There is no shelter at the commemorative sites and visitors should be prepared for long periods exposed to the elements.

What to take to Gallipoli

Visitors should have everything they need for overnight (including any medications, warm and wet weather clothing and appropriate footwear) in a small bag or day-pack. Your bag should not be any larger than that allowed as carry on luggage on a plane.

Visitors should note that after they disembark their coach at Kabatepe, they will have no opportunity to return to their coach to collect any forgotten items or return any prohibited items.

What to pack:

  • Attendance pass and passport (or photocopy of passport)
  • Wet weather and windproof jacket and pants
  • Warm, thermal clothing, jacket, beanie, hat or cap, gloves, scarf
  • Warm blanket – noting that you will not be able to lie down
  • Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes
  • Prescription medications (if required)
  • Non-perishable food and snacks
  • Drinking water (opened bottles will not be allowed into the site)
  • Torch and personal camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Basic first aid kit, including non-prescription pain relief medication and band-aids
  • A small bag or day-pack for carrying the above items

What services can I attend?

A visitor issued with an attendance pass through the Australian ballot process is entitled to attend the Dawn Service at the Anzac Commemorative Site and the Australian Memorial Service at Lone Pine. It is not possible to attend the New Zealand Memorial Service at Chunuk Bair.

Likewise, visitors with attendance passes issued through the New Zealand ballot are only entitled to attend the Dawn Service and the New Zealand service at Chunuk Bair, but not the Australian service. This is due the very limited capacity and the need to manage the number of attendees at both sites.

Seating will be available in allocated stands for all visitors attending the Australian Memorial Service at Lone Pine. Your stand allocation at Lone Pine will be printed on your attendance pass.

Public wreath laying at Lone Pine

Following the conclusion of the Australian Memorial Service at Lone Pine, all attendees have the opportunity to lay a wreath as part of the Official Public Wreath laying. The proceedings will be announced by the Master of Ceremonies.

In previous years, the Public Wreath Laying was broadcast live. This year, due to the large number of participants expected, it will not be possible to broadcast the wreath laying live on the day, however, it will be recorded by the ABC and available on the official DVD of the services.

If you wish to participate in the Official Public Wreath Laying, you must:

  • register by 31 March 2015;
  • organise and purchase your own wreath;
  • bring the wreath with you to the commemorations; and
  • look after this wreath for the duration of the time you are at the site.

It is important to note that the Australian Government can not offer you assistance with purchasing your wreath (in Turkey) or storing of your wreath onsite at the commemorations.

To register, please email wreath.registration@dva.gov.au, and provide the following details:

  1. Name(s) of who will be laying the wreath on the day (e.g. your name and a maximum of one other person).
  2. Who you are laying the wreath on behalf of (e.g. on behalf of the Brown Family, on behalf of Private Smith, etc.).
  3. Your ballot customer ID number.

To be included in the Official Public Wreath Laying, your registration must be received by 31 March 2015. Should you wish to lay a wreath privately on the day, you do not need to register and you may access the memorial at any time following the conclusion of the official proceedings.

Want to share your Gallipoli story?

Are you a direct descendant of a Gallipoli veteran? Do you have an interesting story about your links to Gallipoli that you’d like to share? Media from across the country are keen to hear the stories of Australians attending the commemorations.

If you’re interested in participating in a media interview, both before you leave for Gallipoli and/or when you arrive in-country, please get in contact with us. Email dvamedia@dva.gov.au with a brief summary of your links to Gallipoli, your travel dates (so we don’t call you when you’re on the plane) and your contact details including your suburb/state of residence. We will contact you regarding interview opportunities and will not distribute your contact details without your permission.

Anzac battlefield area at Gallipoli

In this issue of E-news, we highlight the Shrapnel Valley Cemetery within the Anzac battlefield area. Images and maps are available in the E-news published on the Gallipoli 2015 website.

Shrapnel Valley was an essential road from the beach up to the Anzac front and took its name from the heavy shelling it was given by the Turks on 26 April 1915.

Wells were sunk there and water obtained in small quantities, and there were camps and depots on the south side of its lower reaches. Gun positions were made near its mouth.

Also known as Shrapnel Gully, the cemetery was laid out near the exit to the beach from the valley, south of Anzac Cove in early May 1915. After Lone Pine it is the largest battlefield cemetery in the old Anzac sector. Despite being some 1,000 yards (914 metres) from the Turkish lines the cemetery was constantly exposed to enemy sniper fire.

Today Shrapnel Valley with its distinctive Judas tree is considered to be amongst the most beautiful on the peninsula.

Largely completed during the Gallipoli campaign, a small number of graves were incorporated into the cemetery after the war. Of the 683 burials in the cemetery, 527 are Australians, 56 New Zealanders, 28 British and 72 unknowns. Special Memorials commemorate 23 men believed to be buried here.

Missed anything?

Current and past issues of E-news are available under the ‘News’ section of the Gallipoli 2015 website at www.Gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au.

The ‘Anzac Day’ and ‘FAQs’ sections of the website also have information available on attending the Anzac Day commemorations, what to expect onsite, as well as the wait list and ballot process. The Gallipoli 2015 website continues to be updated and as we get closer to the commemorations, you should regularly review the website for any new information.

You can also contact Ticketek on 1300 364 002 (+61 3 9039 9318 for international callers) or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 133 254 or email gallipoli2015@dva.gov.au.