Just days before thousands of guests from Australia and New Zealand descend on a small cove overlooking the Çanakkale Strait, Turkey is taking every precaution necessary to ensure that there are no disturbances on ANZAC Day.
On April 24-25, guests from Australia and New Zealand will attend the commemorative ceremony for the fallen World War I soldiers of the Australia and New Zealand Corps (ANZAC).
Armed soldiers from elite units and a horse-mounted jandarmerie unit, originally deployed in the historic and geographically challenging Cappadocia region of central Turkey, with will be deployed at the Gelibolu (Gallipoli) Peninsula where ANZAC troops landed 102 years ago.
Starting on April 3, jandarmerie troops began around-the-clock patrols of the area. The total number of troops will reach 1,500 for the two-day commemoration events. The mounted troops will provide security at the dawn service for the foreign troops and they will also join a symbolic march of a World War I Ottoman brigade.
Jandarmerie troops will be deployed at every site included in the commemoration ceremonies, from Lone Pine Ridge to Conkbayırı (Chunuk Bair), as well as at the cemeteries of Ottoman troops. Mounted personnel will provide security services in the steep areas that are inaccessible with motor vehicles.
In the 1920s, the first ceremonies memorializing the tens of thousands of soldiers were held throughout Australia and in the 1940s veterans from World War II started joining the various parades.
Although the number of people attending the ceremonies declined in the 1960s and 1970s, interest rose again in the 1990s and continues today with large turnouts in recent years.