Gallipoli service places to be decided by ballot

More than 42,500 people from Australia and almost 1,000 from New Zealand apply to attend April 25 commemorations, but only 10,500 places allotted.

More than 42,500 people from Australia and almost 1,000 from New Zealand apply to attend April 25 commemorations, but only 10,500 places allotted.

CANAKKALE, Turkey - So many Australians and New Zealanders have applied to attend next year's Gallipoli commemorations that Turkish authorities are to hold a ballot to decide who can attend.

Ahmet Cinar - the governor of Turkey's Canakkale province - told the Anadolu Agency on Wednesday that more than 42,500 people from Australia and almost 1,000 people from New Zealand had applied to attend the April 25 commemorations and Dawn Service, but only 10,500 places have been allotted.

“The people who will attend the commemorations will be determined with a ballot,” he said.

Cinar added that a second commemoration ceremony would be held in August for those who could not attend the first. Details are still to be announced.

Every year, Australians and New Zealanders flock to the memorial and graveyard for fallen soldiers in Canakkale, where a Dawn Service is held in memory of the fallen.

Over the eight months of the Gallipoli campaign, 8,709 Australians and 2,721 New Zealanders died.

In Turkey, Gallipoli is known as the Battle of Canakkale.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency