Saturday 9th of December 2023

Dodgy SmartTraveller

Downer's Smart Traveller website is poorly handling the possibity of a terror attack on Anzac Day visitors to Turkey. Consider that many of the visitors to Gallipolli are young Australian backpackers converging from different parts of the world. Many might not have seen or heard the last minute media releases. Many may be relying on the Department Of Foreign Affairs for information. At the moment they would be misled.

Have you tried to get to DFAT's Turkey Terrorist attack warning? It's hard work. You have to go to travel advisories, click on "T" scroll down and then go in . Three Clicks. However, only one click from it's prominent displayer on the Smartraveller home page you find something (and what most people are likely to read) milder. Reading this it looks as if DFAT is mainly trying to cut down on uninsured terror act victims:

Anzac Day 2007

The Anzac Day commemorations held on the Gallipoli Peninsula each year are of special significance to Australians and many are expected to travel to Gallipoli to participate in the event.

Details of the Anzac Day ceremonies are available from:

Australians visiting the commemorative sites of the Gallipoli Peninsula Peace Park should be aware that only limited tourist facilities are available at these venues. During April, the Gallipoli Peninsula can experience extreme weather conditions. Overnight temperatures may fall below zero, high winds are common, and rain and snow are possible. Very warm temperatures may be experienced during the day, and visitors may be exposed to the sun for extended periods. You should be prepared for these weather conditions, and carry waterproof clothing, warm clothes and sunscreen with you. The large crowds, limited public utilities, traffic and security arrangements can result in waiting periods. Visitors should expect to walk several kilometres throughout the day.

Visitors are prohibited from taking the following to commemorative services:

  • alcohol
  • large backpacks (daypacks only permitted)
  • camping equipment (tents and portable stoves etc)
  • weapons of any kind.

Intoxicated persons will not be permitted to attend the commemorative services. Visitors are reminded that the consumption of alcohol and the lighting of fires are prohibited in the Gallipoli Peninsula Peace Park. The Turkish law has severe penalties for the possession of drugs.

Visitors should take particular care on roads and walking paths within the national park. A high level of caution should be exercised around drop offs and road cuttings due to the fragility and instability of the area. All visitors are asked to:

  • strictly obey safety signage and directions;
  • be alert to traffic movements;
  • be aware of hazards from uneven surfaces; and
  • be alert to the danger that soft road edges may give way.
Visitors with special needs

In Turkey special facilities are not generally available for people with disabilities or restricted mobility. Before organising your trip it is advisable to contact a travel agent, tour operators and the local tourist authority to find out whether local transport, accommodation and attractions will cater for your disability.

Limited assistance is available for people who are unable to walk between the commemorative sites. More information on the assistance provided, and the services more generally, can be obtained from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website, by emailing or telephoning (+61 2) 6289 6437.

Don’t forget to check the official travel advice for Turkey online or by phoning 1300 139 281. You should consult the travel advice frequently as circumstances in-country may change at short notice.

Before You Go Be prepared

The better prepared you are, the more enjoyable and safe your travel will be.

  • Organise comprehensive travel insurance which covers emergency treatment, hospitalisation, medical evacuation and repatriation to Australia, if necessary. Otherwise, you could be forced to pay excessive medical costs. Overseas medical costs are not covered by Medicare. Remember, if you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford to travel.
  • Contact the Turkish Embassy to fi nd out about visas for Turkey. Australian tourists visiting Turkey may generally obtain a tourist visa upon arrival for $US20 (approximately AUD$35.00) but visa conditions and costs are subject to change, so double-check the visa requirements before you travel.


And now, what DFAT make it more difficult to find:

Turkey This Advice is current for Tuesday, 24 April 2007.

This advice has been reviewed and reissued. It contains new information in the Summary and on Safety and Security: Terrorism (possible resumption of attacks in April and May 2007). The overall level of the advice has not changed.

[top] Summary
  • We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Turkey because of the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks against a range of targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
  • Recent credible reports indicate that terrorists are preparing to resume attacks in Turkey in April and May 2007. Potential targets include Turkish security forces, government sites and civilian and tourist areas in major cities including Izmir, Istanbul, Adana, Ankara and Antalya. Vacation destinations such as beaches, national parks and forests could also be targeted. These attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Turkey.
  • Domestic terrorist groups (some with links to international terrorists) have carried out attacks in Turkey. On 28 August 2006 a bomb in the shopping area of Antalya, killed three people and injured dozens, including European tourists. The blast followed four bombs in the resort city of Marmaris and in the Bagcilar area of Istanbul that wounded 28 people, including 10 British tourists. A percussion bomb exploded opposite the east entrance of the Blue (Sultanahmet) Mosque in Istanbul on 15 August 2006. An explosion on 14 August 2006 near the Hagia Sofia also in Sultanahmet injured three. On 12 August 2006 a bomb exploded outside an internet café in Istanbul injuring six people. On 4 August 2005 two explosions in the Mediterranean city of Adana injured 17 people.
  • The domestic terrorist group largely responsible for these attacks has carried out a number of attacks on civilian targets in major Turkish cities since the start of 2006 and has claimed over 100 victims. In a public statement on 3 March 2007 the group called on foreign tourists to avoid Turkey or face unspecified consequences and threatened to stage further attacks against Turkey's tourism sector, and specifically against European tourists. Further attacks in areas popular with tourists, including Ankara, Antalya, Adana, Izmir and Istanbul, are expected.
  • We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to provinces in the southeast of Turkey, including those in the border region between Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, due to the unpredictable security situation. Since late March 2006 there have been a number of violent demonstrations in some south-eastern Turkish cities, resulting in a number of deaths and many injuries. If you do decide to travel to these areas, you should exercise extreme caution.


In spite of this advice,Smartraveller have not yet placed Turkey on their list of countries you should reconsider travelling to: