According to a new law passed by the Turkish Parliament on June 18, visitors to the Gallipoli Peninsula National Park marking Anzac Day will no longer be able to quaff alcoholic drinks when they commemorate their forefathers who died fighting in the World War I battle.
The new law designates the park as a special “historical area” and stipulates that “consuming alcoholic drinks out of permitted locations” is banned. Anyone who drinks an alcoholic drink in the open air will be fined 5,000 Turkish Liras (1,726 euro).
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Ali Sarıbaş opposed the bill during the parliamentary commission debate, stressing that the grandchildren of Anzac soldiers camp in the open air during their dawn services on April 25 each year, most of them “drinking wine, in accordance with their culture.”
Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders visit the 33,000-hectare historical park in Gallipoli every year, some searching for the gravestones of their relatives, others to remember the campaign of 1915-16 that saw thousands fall on the peninsula as they fought troops from the Ottoman Empire.
The new law also increases the jail term for accidentally causing a fire from five to 10 years, for intentionally burning the forest to a minimum of 12 years, and for acts of terrorism from 24 to 30 years.