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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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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.

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Poppy
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

A Poppy flower, the symbol of ANZAC remembrance Day, grows on the beach front where allied forces landed 99 years ago. 132,000 were killed in the battle that followed.

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ANZAC Beach
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

An Australian visitor walks through a cemetery for allied forces at ANZAC Cove where 132,000 soldiers died 99 years ago.

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ANZAC Cove
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

An Australian man visits the graves of allied troops at ANZAC Cove Gallipoli. More than 8,700 Australian soldiers died in the nine month campaign that followed.

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Preparing for ANZAC Day
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

Soldiers stand guard as the platform and seating are prepared for this year's ANZAC Day ceremony. Numbers are expected to be more than double the average yearly attendance and tickets for next years centenary morning service have already been allocated via a lottery draw.

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Brighton Beach
By Tracey Shelton
16 Apr 2014

Waves wash up on Brighton Beach in Gallipoli, Turkey. Allied forces had planned to land here where the terrain is flat to make an advance on Turkish forces and take the peninsula. The ships, carrying regiments from Australia and New Zealand, overshot their landing and instead landed at what is now known as ANZAC Cove where they faced sheer cliffs making them an easy target for the Turkish forces above.

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Asset Sales March - Auckland New Zealand
Auckland New Zealand
By jimmyfyfe
28 Apr 2012

Thousands of people marched in central Auckland in April 2012 protesting the New Zealand government's plans to sell state-owned assets to foreign companies.

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Asset sales march, Auckland, New Zeal...
Auckland, New Zealand
By jimmyfyfe
28 Apr 2012

Thousands of people marched in central Auckland in April 2012 protesting the New Zealand government's plans to sell state-owned assets to foreign companies.

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Asset sales march, Auckland, New Zeal...
Auckland, New Zealand
By jimmyfyfe
28 Apr 2012

Thousands of people marched in central Auckland in April 2012 protesting the New Zealand government's plans to sell state-owned assets to foreign companies.

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Asset sales march, Auckland New Zeala...
Auckland, New Zealand
By jimmyfyfe
28 Apr 2012

Thousands of people marched in central Auckland in April 2012 protesting the New Zealand government's plans to sell state-owned assets to foreign companies.

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Asset sales march, Auckland, New Zeal...
Auckland, New Zealand
By jimmyfyfe
28 Apr 2012

Thousands of people marched in central Auckland in April 2012 protesting the New Zealand government's plans to sell state-owned assets to foreign companies.

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Asset sales march, Auckland, New Zeal...
Auckland, New Zealand
By jimmyfyfe
28 Apr 2012

Thousands of people marched in central Auckland in April 2012 protesting the New Zealand government's plans to sell state-owned assets to foreign companies.

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Asset sales march, Aucland, New Zeala...
Auckland, New Zealand
By jimmyfyfe
28 Apr 2012

Thousands of people marched in central Auckland in April 2012 protesting the New Zealand government's plans to sell state-owned assets to foreign companies.

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Asset sales march, Auckland, New Zeal...
Auckland, New Zealand
By jimmyfyfe
28 Apr 2012

Thousands of people marched in central Auckland in April 2012 protesting the New Zealand government's plans to sell state-owned assets to foreign companies.

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Asset sales march, Auckland, New Zeal...
Auckland, New Zealand
By jimmyfyfe
28 Apr 2012

Thousands of people marched in central Auckland in April 2012 protesting the New Zealand government's plans to sell state-owned assets to foreign companies.