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Thai Migration Meeting
Bangkok
By GonzaloAbad
29 May 2015

Mr. Robertson, Deputy Director Asia of Human Right Watch, speak with us about first impressions of "Thailand Migration Meeting" and migration.
Bangkok, 29 May 2015

The Royal Thai Government is organizing the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in Bangkok. The Special Meeting is an urgent call for the region to comprehensively work together to address the unprecedented increase of irregular migration in recent times. 

The meeting will provide a forum to exchange information and views in addressing the unprecedented increase of irregular migration by sea. Senior officials responsibility for the issue from 17 countries in the region most affected by irregular migration by sea are expected to participate in the meeting, namely, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand. In addition, the United States of America and Switzerland will participate as observers. Three international organizations, namely the UNHCR, UNODC, and IOM will also join the event.

The key topics of discussion will include:
1. Finding urgent solutions for the 7,000 irregular migrants estimated to be remaining in the Indian Ocean;
2. Finding long-term solutions to the problem of irregular migration in the Indian Ocean, particularly those related to human trafficking;
3. Addressing the challenges in countries of origin. 


Key objectives of the meeting are:
1. Promote international cooperation in solving the problem, and engage key affected countries of origin, transit, and destination, considering that Thailand is a country of transit;
2. Emphasize the principle of international burden sharing;
3. Engage constructively with countries of origin and in the region.

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Sex Tourism: The Philippines' "Superm...
Angeles City, Philippines
By David Tacon
27 Apr 2015

Known as the ‘supermarket of sex’, Angeles City’s Fields Avenue red light strip in the Philippines originally arose to service the former Clark US Air Force Base in the Philippines. Today solo male travelers, mainly from all over Asia (but mainly South Korea), Australia, United States, Europe and the Middle East constitute the bulk of arrivals at Clark Airport, the former military airport. Men flock to Fields Avenue bars and nightclubs filled with young women from impoverished rural areas – women with little education and few prospects. For around US$70 the men pay a bar fine (locally known as an Early Work Release) to take a young woman back to their hotel. The women keep a third of this fee. Prices are considerably lower away from the main bar strip.

The booming industry in sex tourism in the Philippines since the closure of Clark Air Force Base has left behind a generation of children, many of whom have never known and will never know their fathers.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Kurds Mourn the Deaths of British and...
Derik, Syria
By TTM Contributor 33
14 Mar 2015

The body of Ashley Johnson, an Australian fighter in the Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG), was taken from Syria to Turkey at the Derik border crossing. Johnson, who joined the YPG six months ago, was killed on 25 February when the Kurdish militia retook the strategic town of Tal Hamis in northeast Syria from ISIS.

This video shows the procession in which Johnson’s body was taken from Syria to Turkey. It also shows the body of former British Royal Marine and Peshmerga fighter, Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, who died on March 4, being taken from a hospital in the Kurdish city of Derik to Iraqi Kurdistan through the Simalka border crossing. Scurfiled was also killed in the battle to retake Tal Hamis.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
25 Feb 2015

February 25, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Robert, 18 months, and his mother, Mylene, 37, at their home in Balibago. Mylene used to recruit girls from Manila for work in Angles City red light district and met Robert's father a US citizen while at Owl's Nest, a go go bar in Fields Avenue. After a 20 month relationship with the 55 year old three-time divorcess who lives in the Philippines on a tourist visa, he left Mylene for another woman. Although the father signed Robert's birth certificate his new girlfriend convinced him not to get his son a US passport. He sends money to Mylene and his son occasionally.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
25 Feb 2015

February 25, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Robert, 18 months, and his mother, Mylene, 37, at their home in Balibago. Mylene used to recruit girls from Manila for work in Angles City red light district and met Robert's father a US citizen while at Owl's Nest, a go go bar in Fields Avenue. After a 20 month relationship with the 55 year old three-time divorcess who lives in the Philippines on a tourist visa, he left Mylene for another woman. Although the father signed Robert's birth certificate his new girlfriend convinced him not to get his son a US passport. He sends money to Mylene and his son occasionally.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
25 Feb 2015

February 25, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Azumi, 2 years old, and her mother Angelica, 25, at accommodation provided to them by Renew, a charity that helps Filipina women leave the sex trade. Azumi's mother claims her father is a German named Ralf, 50, who is the owner of Camelot bar on the Fields Avenue red light strip. Ralf has been confronted by both Azumi's father and a represntative from Renew, but he denies that Azumi is his daugher and also refuses to take a paternity test. Angelica is now in her second year of a college degree.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
25 Feb 2015

February 25, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Azumi, 2 years old, and her mother Angelica, 25, at accommodation provided to them by Renew, a charity that helps Filipina women leave the sex trade. Azumi's mother claims her father is a German named Ralf, 50, who is the owner of Camelot bar on the Fields Avenue red light strip. Ralf has been confronted by both Azumi's father and a represntative from Renew, but he denies that Azumi is his daugher and also refuses to take a paternity test. Angelica is now in her second year of a college degree.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Peter, 8, and his mother Grace, 35, with a picture of Peter's Australian father, Max, Peter and the child of a family friend taken during one of Max's visits to the Philippines. Grace met Max when she was 24 and he was 78, while she was working in a bar in Angeles City's red light district. Unlike many children of sex tourists' Peter's father signed the boy's birth certificate, helped him obtain an Australian passport and bought them the house in which they live. Grace and Peter have not heard or received financial support from Peter's father in four months. Grace hopes to obtain welfare payments from the Australian government.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Peter 8, at a small restaurant near his home in Balibago. His mother Grace met Peter's Australian father when she was 24 and he was 78, while she was working in a bar in Angeles City's red light district. Unlike many children of sex tourists' Peter's father signed the boy's birth certificate, helped him obtain an Australian passport and bought them the house in which they live. Grace and Peter have not heard or received financial support from Peter's father in four months. Grace hopes to obtain welfare payments from the Australian government.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Peter 8, and some of his classmates outside the Learn Yearn Nurture School for Young near his home in Balibago. Four of the 50 students at this private primary school have Australian fathers.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Francine, 7, (right) sits in her family's home in the Hadrian 3 slum as her grandfather washes vegetables. Francine whose father is Australian lives with, her mother, her five half siblings, her aunt and her two children and her grandfather in their 70 sq metre home. Francine has never met her father who ceased contact with her mother shortly after she informed him that she was pregnant. Her father met her mother while she was working at a bar on the Fields Ave red light strip.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R):- Francine, 7, her mother Susan, 35 and her son 19 month old son James in their home in the Hadrian 3 slum. Francine has never met her father who ceased contact with her mother shortly after she informed him that she was pregnant. Her father met her mother while she was working at a bar on the Fields Ave red light strip. Susan receives money from her Filipino boyfriend, the father of James, sent from Saudi Arabia where he works in construction.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Francine, 7, whose father is an Australian, with her 19 month old half brother James. Francine's father had a one night stand with her mother while she was working at Blue Nile go go bar in the Fields Avenue red light strip. Francine has never met her father and her mother has no contact with him.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Francine, 7, whose father is an Australian sits in her home in the Hadrian 3 slum. Francine has never met her father, a sex tourist with whom her mother has no contact.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Tristan, 3, (second from right) his mother Jennifer 32, Tristan's half sister Fiona, 7 (second from left and a cousin (left) look at a picture of Tristan's Australian father, which his mother saved from his Facebook account. Jennifer met Tristan's father, Jason, an Australian now living in America while she was working at Dolls House go go bar on the Fields Ave red light strip and visited Tristan when he was one month old. Tristan and his family live next to a garbage dump in the Hadrian 3 slum and receive occasional fanancial and material suport from Jason, a manager at Ikea in California and his parents.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Fiona, 7, Tristan, 5, and their mother Jennifer 32, at their home in the Hardian 3 slum. Jennifer met Tristan's father, Jason, an Australian now living in America while she was working at Dolls House go go bar on the Fields Ave red light strip and visited Tristan when he was one month old. Tristan receives occasional financial and material support from Jason, a manager at Ikea in California and his grandparents.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - , Nelcy, 30, Renz, 8, (left) whose father is believed to be Norwegian and his mother Nelcy, 30 (second from left) with his two half brothers at their home in the Hadrian 3 slum. Nelcy says Renz's father, Frank, who is in his 60s and lives in the Philppines with his Filipina wife was a regular at the Dirty Dog go go bar where she used to work. After she became pregnant, she was unable to contact Frank. When she saw him on the street after her child was born and she approached him, he refused to believe he was father to her child. "Sometimes he's bullied by others kids because he's different", says Nelcy, "but he always fights back."

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Francine, 35, (top left) and at their home in the Hadrian 3 slum. Francine, 7, (right) has never met her father who ceased contact with her mother shortly after she informed him that she was pregnant. Her father met her mother while she was working at a bar on the Fields Ave red light strip. Susan receives money from her Filipino boyfriend, the father of James, sent from Saudi Arabia where he works in construction.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
23 Feb 2015

February 23, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Bar workers in bikinis stand on a podium at 'Crystal Palace' go-go bar on Fields Avenue. This red light strip, that originally arose to service the Clark US Airforce Base, which closed in 1991, is a centre for international sex tourism. The bar workers, who are from impoverished rural areas, earn money by customers buying 'lady drinks' or providing sex to customers who are mainly from South Korea, Australia and the US. At bars such as this one on the Fields Ave 'Walking Stret, bar workers earn one third of the approx $70 bar fine (locally known as an Early Work Release) to go home with a customer. Prices are considerably lower away from the main bar strip.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
23 Feb 2015

February 23, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Bar workers in bikinis stand on a podium at 'Sea Star' go-go bar on Fields Avenue. This red light strip, that originally arose to service the Clark US Airforce Base is a centre for international sex tourism. The bar workers, who are from impoverished rural areas, earn money by customers buying 'lady drinks' or providing sex to customers who are mainly from South Korea, Australia and the US. At bars such as this one on the Fields Ave 'Walking Street,' bar workers earn one third of the approximately $70 bar fine (locally known as an Early Work Release) to go home with a customer. Prices are considerably lower away from the main bar strip.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
23 Feb 2015

February 23, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Traffic is slow on a Monday evening on the Fields Avenue 'Walking Street'. This red light strip, that originally arose to service the Clark US Airforce Base is a centre for international sex tourism. The bar workers, who are from impoverished rural areas, earn money by customers buying 'lady drinks' or providing sex to customers who are mainly from South Korea, Australia and the US. Most visitors fly in for the weekend.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
23 Feb 2015

February 23, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Pole dancers peform at 'Dolls House' go-go bar, one of the largest estabishments on Fields Avenue. This red light strip, that originally arose to service the Clark US Airforce Base is a centre for international sex tourism. The bar workers, who are from impoverished rural areas, earn money by customers buying 'lady drinks' or providing sex to customers who are mainly from South Korea, Australia and the US. At bars such as this one on the Fields Ave 'Walking Stret, bar workers earn one third of the approx $70 bar fine (locally known as an Early Work Release) to go home with a customer. Prices are considerably lower away from the main bar strip.

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Refugee Syrian Christian Family Hope ...
Fanar,Lebanon
By Rachel K
05 Feb 2015

Fanar, Lebanon

February 5, 2015

After fleeing ISIS in northeastern Syria, a Syrian christian family has found refuge in a predominantly christian town in Lebanon. Despite feeling welcome in the town they have settled in, poverty and hopelessness remain. As a return to Syria seems impossible, Sonia, her mother Doros, and her pregnant sister-in-law Rita hope to emigrate to Australia with help of the United Nations.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman), Sonia Ishaya, Syrian Christian Refugee in Lebanon
00:00 – 03:15
We arrived here in September – September 1 – we have relatives here who come from Hassaka. My cousin and my niece rented this house for us. The United Nations have helped us. My father, mother and I were given a Visa card from the United Nations [we also receive aid from] churches. The UN gave a visa a card for the three of us only.
My brother works. Life is expensive. We can barely cover the rent. Only my brother works. I am handicapped, and my father and mother are old. My nephews are very young.
I had a psychological illness due to fear. I saw a psychiatrist and received treatment and medication in order to be able to talk and move around. Fear controlled to a large extent. Bombing hit our neighbourhood. The day ISIS went in, we left the area.
There was fear of everything. There nothing specific that I could relate my fear to. I was scared of everything. I was not scared of ISIS, I was terrorised.
The situation is difficult. I cannot handle the sight of blood or the sound of bullets. I have a complex of that.
If the situation remained as is, you will not find any more Christians. You will not find Christians in this region, especially if ISIS took control in this area. About three quarters of the [Christians] in Hassaka have left.
Here the situation is normal. We go to church and we can pray, however, one is called a refugee. One feels that he is not in his country.
We had a comfortable life and were happy in our country. We had jobs. What can I say?
Interviewer: Have you lost hope?
- Honestly, yes.

I always pray and ask God to give restore peace to Syria and all countries, and that children live happily again and families reunite. I wish that God does not deprive anyone of their country or family. Recently, my father was sick but we could not take him to the hospital because we cannot afford it. He was dying between our hands but we could not take him to the hospital. We could not even get the doctor.
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman), Doros Khoshaba, Syrian Christian Refugee in Lebanon
03:16 – 05:40
“We had a house that we left. My daughter’s cousins and my granddaughter each gave us something for the house. But there is not any aid or money. We do not have anyone to help us. Thank God for your and our safety. I fled and I did not want to take anything with me. We were able to take these children. Artillery shells were falling on our house. We stayed for a week hiding in the bathroom. Shells were falling from every direction. I will not return. My son will not return either because all of the things that we have seen. I do not care about our house or belongings. There was not any water or bread and we were not able to leave the house.
If I can work and receive aid from churches I will not return. This is our country. We have seen Christians and churches. The situation here is different. Back there, my daughter was threatened twice. Two fighters killed a man in front of my house and dragged him. I was coming out and I saw him being shot in the head.
I want to go to Australia. We have applied to UN. If we are accepted we will go. If not, we will stay here. I would rather work at people’s homes than return. I am an old woman, but I am willing to work instead of returning. My eyes have seen so much.
Due to our fear, we forgot our prayers and ourselves. We saw terrorists… we were not able to know anything. We forgot everything, as if we were hit on the head.
May the Virgin Mary protect us and everyone else, not only us – all the people who fled Syria and came here. Virgin Mary, protect us and give us our daily bread and mercy. That is all I can say.
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman), Rita Garabetian, Syrian Christian Refugee in Lebanon 05:41 –
The situation than it used to be in Syria. We are not scared like we used to be in Syria. However, we feel forlorn. People have received so well and no one has harmed us, but we feel like strangers. What bothers me the most is that my children do not go to school. I see other children going to school while my children stay at home. My husband is working, but we can barely cover our expenses, but we thank God.
Since I cannot enrol my children at school, the thing I can think of is traveling. This is our only ambition. Most people have come here to travel.
I am pregnant and I will give birth next month. I worry about the hospital bill, the cost of medications. I have a hundred things to worry about.
Honestly, we have not lived with the Lebanese before. In this area, Sid al-Boushriya, all the people are Assyrians from Hasaka. We have lived with any Lebanese. Yesterday, Lebanese people visited us. They were very decent and kind.
I do not think there any who live in tents. I am talking about the Christians of Hasaka. They are used to a different way of living. It is impossible for them to live in tents.
Hope of what?
Interviewer: To return.
To Syria, it is impossible. It is impossible to have peace in Syria before 10 or 15 years. There has not been an Arab country that was destroyed and then restored.
Christians remained in Lebanon because they were among each other. In Syria, ISIS meddled in the middle.
We saw what ISIS has done in Mossul, Iraq. What they did to the Christians and Yezidis. How many Christians are there in Hasaka? Their numbers are quite high, but ISIS could kill of them in a matter of a few days. There were about 20 Assyrian villages in which nobody remained. In each village, maybe one or two families remained. These villages were full; they had about 150 or 200 Christian families each. Now they are gone. They were all displaced. They went to Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. They were displaced. They left their belongings, d houses and land. They had very good financial situation. They left everything and went away, out fear that their children would be killed. ISIS has no religion.
We were scared that what happened to them would happen to us.
-Who is ‘them’? - The Christians in Mossul. It was a disaster.

My cross… I do not walk without it. It protects me, even though it is small.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy), Unnamed, Rita Garabetian’s Son

08:46 -
I want to go to school. I want to stay here because I have friends, with whom I play. I have do not have anyone in Syria.

Interviewer: Why?

Because they were displaced and came here.

Interviewer: What is your dream?
I want to grow up and stay in Australia, and that the people of my country live in peace. Whenever I can, I would return to Syria.

Schools in Syria closed and there was war. I was scared of bombings and gunshots. I was scared of ISIS. ISIS displaced us.

Interviewer: Did you see or hear them?

  • I used to hear and see them. Interviewer: What did you see?
  • I saw shells falling. I also heard continuous gunshots. Bombs would fall and make a sound, boom! I wish that Jesus Christ protects Syria and its people, as well as all the countries; to protect every Christian and anyone else; and to protect all people in refugee camps.
    Lebanon is very beautiful.
    Interviewer: More beautiful than Syria?
  • No Syria is more beautiful.
  • Interviewer: Why?
  • I was living happily in Syria. I am happy in Lebanon because I saw my friends. I love to go to school.

-Interviewer: Why? - I want to learn and play with my friends. -Interviewer: What do you want to do when you grow up? -I want to be a doctor.

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Sinking States: Climate Change and th...
By Gemima Harvey
31 Jan 2015

The Pacific Islands are on the front lines of climate change, their shores nibbled away by a swollen tideline. This article explores the perils associated with a warming planet, using the Pacific region as a case study, drawing on the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. It also addresses Australia's apparent disregard of the need to look toward renewable energy sources and examines the concept of 'climate refugees'.

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ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli
Turkey
By Tracey Shelton
22 Apr 2014

As the centenary of the battle for Gallipoli nears, visitors flock to the memorial sites that dot the peninsula. April 25 marks 99 years since allied troops first landed at ANZAC Cove in an unsuccessful attempt to take the peninsula and push forward to Constantinople (modern day Istanbul).

Of the foreign tourists, the vast majority are Australian or New Zealand citizens coming to pay their respects to the ANZAC allied forces who died in this epic battle of the First World War. But each year, around 1.5 million Turks also flock to the memorial sites that celebrate the victory of Commander Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who later went on to become Turkey's first president and founder of the Turkish republic. They also come to mourn the more than 86,000 Turkish fighters that lost their lives in the successful defence of their coastline. During the First World War, Turkish forces fought on nine fronts. The only victory was at Gallipoli.

132,000 died in the nine month Gallipoli campaign. Among the dead were more than 8,700 Australians, over 2750 New Zealanders, around 10,000 French, almost 22,000 British soldiers and more than 7,500 Indians.

Next year, during the 100th anniversary, tour operators say they expect to see unprecedented crowds with around 3 million visitors expected throughout the year.

By Tracey Shelton

GALLIPOLI, Turkey – Ninety-nine years ago, on a pristine beach off the coast of the Gallipoli Peninsular, 132,000 men lost their lives.

Every Australian and New Zealander knows the tale. We are taught it in school. We watch movies depicting the massacre, and every year on April 25 we pay our respects to the fallen war heroes.

But as the centenary of this historic event nears, it is not only allied forces that are making the pilgrimage to Gallipoli.

Standing among a small tour group of five Australians and one New Zealander last week, buses loaded with Turkish visitors stopped to swarm the memorials and peer at the statues depicting both foreign and Turkish troops.

“This is an important part of Turkish history as well,” said Turkish tour guide Ercan Yavuz. “We study about this battle from primary school to college. In World War 1, the Turkish army were fighting on nine different fronts. This was their only victory.”

Yavuz said an average 2 million people visit the Gallipoli memorials annually. Around three quarters are Turkish.

The Turkish tour route differs somewhat from that of the well-worn ANZAC trail. A visit to the local museum that tells a victorious tale from the Turkish side is generally not included on foreign tours, Yavuz explained. Neither are many of the Turkish burial grounds. But the tour paths frequently overlap.

One statue depicts the story of a Turkish soldier who emerged from the safety of his bunker to save a dying enemy fighter. According to the account retold later at the scene by Australian governor Lord Richard Casey, the man had raised a white flag tied to the muzzle of his rifle after he heard his enemy screaming in agony. He carried the man across enemy lines, delivering him to his comrades in the allied trenches before running back to continue the battle. Such stories of bravery and mutual respect between enemies lead to the common reference to the battle of Gallipoli as ‘the last gentlemen’s war’.

A large monument, situated near ANZAC Cove, drives home the solidarity between enemy sides that developed soon after the war ended. It immortalizes the words of the then newly appointed president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who rose to fame by leading his men to victory at Gallipoli, “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives…you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace.”

In almost nine months, the allied forces failed to gain significant ground from any of the multiple positions they held along the coastline. On January 9, 1916, the last of the allied troops withdrew. They had lost over 46,000 men including more then 8,700 Australians.

It was a major victory for Ataturk and the Turkish people, but more than 86,000 lost their lives to win. In a famous speech, also enshrined on a wall at the Turkish memorial site, Ataturk commanded his men, “I am not ordering you to attack. I am ordering you to die.”

Yavuz explained that for Turks, a visit to Gallipoli is not just about celebrating a victory but also mourning a great loss. And adding to the sadness and frustration, it is almost impossible for Turkish descendants to find the graves of their ancestors. Yavuz explained that prior to 1934 and the establishment of the ‘Surname Law”, there were no family names in Turkish culture. Gravestones simply contain a first name and father’s first name, making it almost impossible to determine family ties to the names carved on the memorial stones.

“It is an emotional place for you and it is also emotional for us,” said Emin Yurdalan, operations manager at ANZAC Hotel for the past eight years. “Even for us Turks it is a sad place. We won the battle, but war is war. It is always sad.”

Yurdalon said the feedback he gets from his guests who visit the Gallipoli site is always positive. The solemn atmosphere of the site, which is a national park, provides a fitting atmosphere to pay respects, particularly during the April 25 service. This year, numbers are expected to double, but next year, Yurdalon says he expects the centenary year to be a busy one with an estimated 3 million visitors throughout the year.

When asked if they still had rooms available for April next year Yurdalon answered, “We sold out three years ago!”

The number of visitors for the April 25 morning memorial service for 2015 is limited to 10,500. Tickets were awarded to 8,000 Australians and 2,000 New Zealanders via a lottery draw. Official guests will fill the remaining 500 places.

Many of those who didn’t make the draw, like 29-year-old Mark Dean, are making their journey this year.

“It is pretty amazing to be standing right here after hearing the stories since I was kid,” Dean said as he stood on a ridge overlooking ANZAC Cove last week. “I have two relatives that fought here, so this is a special moment for me and I must admit, I even got a bit emotional at the gravesite. I will definitly be coming back for another visit next year.”

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Turkish Pilgrims
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

Turkish tourists visit a memorial site for 86,000 Turkish soldiers that lost their lives defending the Gallipoli peninsula. Around 2 million visitors tour the area annually. Around three quarters are Turkish.

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New Zealand memorial
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

A memorial to New Zealand's fallen troops. Over 2750 New Zealand fighters lost their lives in the nine month battle.

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ANZAC Trenches
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

Renovated trenches used by allied forces sit a top of the mountains overlooking the ANZAC Coast. This point was one of the furthest the allied forces managed to penetrate before again being pushed back to the shores.

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Lookout
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

A signboard overlooking the ANZAC Cove and Suvla Beach marks historical points of interest for visitors.

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Ataturk
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

A statue honours, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the battle commander in Turkey's only victory of the First World War - the battle for Gallipoli. He was reportedly shot while standing in the place marked by this statue. A pocket watch stopped the bullet from penetrating his heart. He later went on to become the founder of the Turkish republic and the first Turkish president.

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Light Horse Regiment
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

A visitor looks over the trenches used by the Australian Light Horse Regiment in a battle charge that left hundreds dead within minutes. More than 8,700 Australian soldiers lost their lives during the nine month campaign.

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Turkish visitors
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

Turkish visitors take photographs at a memorial site for 86,000 Turkish soldiers that lost their lives defending the Gallipoli peninsula. Around 2 million visitors tour the area annually. Around three quarters are Turkish.

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Turkish memorial
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

A Turkish memorial to the 86,000 Turkish soldiers that lost their lives defending this peninsula stands in Gallipoli. Around 2 million visitors tour the area annually. Around three quarters are Turkish.

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Turkish remembrance
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

A memorial wall commemorates the 86,000 Turkish soldiers that lost their lives defending the Gallipoli peninsula. Around 2 million visitors tour the area annually. Around three quarters are Turkish.

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Trenches
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

Trenches used by the Australian regiments can still be seen in some areas of the Gallipoli peninsula. More than 8,700 Australian soldiers lost their lives during the nine-month campaign.

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Cemetery
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

Graves lay in rows at the Lone Pine memorial. More than 8,700 Australian soldiers lost their lives during the nine month campaign to take the peninsula.

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Lone Pine
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

Visitors pay their respects at the Lone Pine Memorial to Australian soldiers, Gallipoli. More than 8,700 Australian soldiers lost their lives during the nine month campaign to take the peninsula.

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Memorial
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

A visitor views the list of deceased at the Lone Pine Memorial to Australian soldiers at Gallipoli. More than 8,700 Australian soldiers lost their lives during the nine month campaign to take the peninsula.

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Gentlemen's War
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

A statue of a Turkish soldier carrying a wounded allied soldier in his arms stands on the hillside in Gallipoli. The statue depicts an account told by Richard Casey, Governor-General of Australia. After raising a white flag tied to the muzzle of his rifle, a Turkish soldier climbed from his trench, picked up the British officer, delivered him to the Australian lines and returned to his own side. The battle of Gallipoli is widely dubbed the last gentlemen's war due to the respect both sides showed for their enemy.

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Tour groups
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

Tour guide Ercan Yavuz tells his group stories of soldiers who died in battle at ANZAC Cove. 130,000 died in battle on this peninsula 99 years ago including more than 8,700 Australians.