Veterans Accept Decision To Cancel Lone Pine Service Amid Turkish Unrest

The Turkish Government said security concerns means it is not safe for Australians.

29/07/2016 9:52 AM AEST | Updated 29/07/2016 9:52 AM AEST

War veterans' groups have accepted the decision by the Turkish Government to cancel the 101st Lone Pine service at Gallipoli, due to security concerns following the failed coup attempt.

The Turkish government strongly advised the Australian government that the service, which was due to go ahead on August 6, be cancelled.

RSL national president Rod White backed the decision, issuing a statement to say, "It's up to the Turkish government to address the issues within its own nation".

Thousands of people remain behind bars in Turkey following the failed coup on July 15, many of them military personnel. This means the country no longer has ample security resources to protect the tourists and diplomats who were expected to attend the service.

Last year former former veteran affairs minister Stuart Robert upset veterans when a government review of the service suggested it be it being cancelled over the issue of extreme weather. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agreed that the service would go ahead after an outcry from the RSL.

But, this time, it appears the disrupting forces were overwhelming.

Osman Orsal / Reuters
Visitors from Australia and New Zealand visit the Lone Pine Australian memorial in Gallipoli.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs said the Turkish government people had been "generous" hosts of Australia's various commemorations in the region.

"The Government respects their request," a statement read.

Instead of the full service, the Australian Ambassador to Turkey will go to Lone Pine to pay tribute to the lives lost during the Battle.

The Battle of Lone Pine was a hellish battle between August 6 and 10, 1915, that left more than 2300 Australians and 6000 Turks dead.

There are no plans, at this stage, to cancel the ANZAC Day services in 2017.

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