More Kiwis go to Gallipoli to commemorate Anzac Day

News 24/04/2019

New Zealanders and Australians are flocking to Gallipoli for Anzac Day commemorations despite comments made by the Turkish president after the Christchurch terror attack, Newshub Europe correspondent Lloyd Burr says.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stirred up controversy after he said any New Zealanders or Australians who travel to Turkey with intentions similar to the alleged gunman would be sent home in coffins like their Anzac grandfathers in World War I.

He also played footage taken by the alleged shooter in a campaign video - footage that has been banned in New Zealand.

Burr told The AM Show from Gallipoli while it hadn't impacted the number of those coming to experience Anzac commemorations, it has had an effect on the level of security.

The military police over here - there's a big presence of them

"They're walking around with big machine guns, there's security checkpoints and I do understand it's like this every year, but this year it's not a centenary year like it was last time I was here.

"Security is tight - they are taking the security of Kiwis and Australians who have made this journey - they are taking it seriously."

Burr said there were between 100 and 200 more New Zealanders and Australians who had registered to attend Gallipoli commemorations compared to last year.

"It's had the opposite effect," he said.

"Their main concerns are that their friends and family back home are bombarding them with messages - saying 'look after yourself, be safe, watch your back' and things like that. They're more than happy to be here and to spend the night at Anzac Cove and commemorate our fallen soldiers."

Back home, police continue to be armed throughout the country and plans are in place for extra security at Anzac commemorations and other events in the coming weeks. Some Anzac events were cancelled.

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Mark Quinlivan