Europe

IS suspect arrested in Turkey over 'planned Gallipoli attack'

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Turkish police have arrested a suspected Islamic State member believed to have been planning an attack on Anzac commemorations in Gallipoli.

A suspected IS member believed to have been planning an attack on an Anzac service in Gallipoli has been arrested in Turkey.

The Syrian man was detained in Tekirdag, a northwest province close to the Gallipoli peninsula, a Tekirdag police spokesman said on Wednesday.

Turkish nationals were banned from attending the dawn service, which Chief of the Defence Force Angus Campbell is due to be at, amid heightened security fears.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs said the dawn service would go ahead.

"The Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs and the New Zealand Defence Force (joint lead agencies) are aware of Turkish media reports that the Turkish National Police has arrested an individual who is alleged to be involved in activities designed to disrupt Anzac services at Gallipoli," the department told News Corp.

"This is a matter for the Turkish Authorities.

"Australian and New Zealand agencies are liaising with the responsible Turkish authorities in relation to this media reporting."

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Scott Morrison: IS suspect arrest in Turkey was 'routine', no link to Gallipoli
Scott Morrison: IS suspect arrest in Turkey was 'routine', no link to Gallipoli

Turkey has said Islamic State was responsible for several bombings that took place in the country in 2015 and 2016, which killed some 200 people in total.

Although the militant group has not been active in Turkey of late, authorities still carry out routine operations against suspected Islamic State members.

A man has been arrested in Turkey over an alleged plan to attack Gallipoli Anzac Day services.
A man has been arrested in Turkey over an alleged plan to attack Gallipoli Anzac Day services.
AAP

This year's Anzac service comes a month after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan faced criticism in Australia and New Zealand for comments he made after a lone gunman killed 50 people in two mosques in Christchurch on March 15.

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The descendants of Turkish soldiers who fought in Gallipoli proudly march in ANZAC Day commemorations
The descendants of Turkish soldiers who fought in Gallipoli proudly march in ANZAC Day commemorations

Erdogan played a video from the shootings at local election rallies and said the gunman had targeted Turkey by saying in a manifesto posted online that Turks should be removed from the European half of Istanbul.

He also threatened to send back in coffins anyone who tried to take the battle to Istanbul.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with 50 counts of murder for New Zealand's worst peacetime mass shooting.

Fifty other people were injured in the attacks, which occurred during Friday prayers.

Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson praised Turkish authorities, but also lamented fundamentalists with "heinous motives" trying to disrupt Anzac Day services.

"It's a reflection of the fact that we do have some people who have heinous motives," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

Brendan Nelson, director of the Australian War Memorial.
Brendan Nelson, director of the Australian War Memorial.
AAP

"The Turkish authorities went to extraordinary lengths to see that the Gallipoli peninsula was secure for the Anzac Day services that are being held there."

He said it was important people went on with their lives.

"Unfortunately we live in a world where there are people - wherever they live, whatever their background, whatever their beliefs - who are fundamentalists intent on disrupting what we do," Dr Nelson said.

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