MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – PM to attend Gallipoli Anzac Day commemorations
Prime Minister John Key is to lead a New Zealand delegation at the centenary commemorations of the ANZAC landings in Gallipoli, Turkey.
“On 25 April 2015, we mark 100 years since the first New Zealand troops came ashore at Gallipoli,” says Mr Key.
Gallipoli was the first major combat role for New Zealand forces in the First World War and was where 2721 New Zealanders were killed, representing a quarter of the total New Zealand forces sent to the peninsula.
“At these commemorations we’ll be honouring their sacrifice and remembering all New Zealand veterans of conflict.
“The significance of this event is of course felt strongly by New Zealanders, with 2,000 Kiwis expected to travel to Gallipoli through the ballot system,” says Mr Key.
Mr Key will attend a number of commemorative services on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 24 and 25 April, including the Dawn Service, the New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair and the Australian Service at Lone Pine.
Prime Minister Key and Australian Prime Minister Abbott will jointly attend the Anzac Day services on 25 April.
“We are delighted the Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, will also be attending Gallipoli services in Turkey on the 24th and 25th of April.”
The Prime Minister’s official delegation includes Veterans’ Affairs Minister Craig Foss, Opposition Leader Andrew Little, Chief of Defence Force Lt Gen Tim Keating and other senior Defence personnel and RSA President Barry Clarke.
Also in the official party will be 25 youth ambassadors, highly decorated New Zealand veteran Brigadier Neville Reilly and historian Dr Chris Pugsley.
“Gallipoli is hugely significant for New Zealand, Australia and Turkey. It’s where the Anzac relationship was cemented and it also a very important chapter in Turkey’s history.
“The Anzac spirit lives on in the way that New Zealand works collaboratively and respectfully with Australia, together with our Turkish hosts to hold the Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli every year.
“Turkey commits significant resources to ensuring these important commemorations are undertaken safely and respectfully, and we are grateful for their hospitality.”
Throughout the week there will be a number of significant events culminating in Anzac day services around New Zealand.