- Take care at Gallipoli, PM urges -
Prime Minister John Howard has urged Australians planning an ANZAC Day pilgrimage to Gallipoli to take great care amid heightened tensions over the war in Iraq.
But he stopped short of advising people not to go.
The federal government has asked Turkey to boost security at Gallipoli for ANZAC Day ceremonies later this month, amid fears of reprisals for Australia`s involvement in the war against Iraq.
The ceremonies have in recent years attracted more than 12,000 Australians and New Zealanders.
ANZAC Commemorative Site, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has strengthened its travel warning for Turkey, advising Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in that country.
Mr Howard said Australians should "take very great care".
"It`s one of those difficult things," he said.
"I don`t want to discourage people from going, but I want them to understand that reflected in the travel advisories we`ve issued already and will issue in the future, there are some heightened areas of concern."
RSL national president Major-General Peter Phillips last week said he believed the security risk at Gallipoli was low, given the warm relationship between Australians and the local Turkish people.
And opposition leader Simon Crean said while people should consider their security, he hoped Australians would still flock to ANZAC Cove.
Defence Minister Robert Hill said Australian travellers should follow DFAT`s advice.
"I`ve been to Gallipoli on ANZAC Day and it is a wonderful experience for an Australian," he said.
"They`ve obviously got to follow the foreign affairs travel advisories.
"There are terrorist risks in that region, no doubt about that, and at the very least great caution should be exercised."
>>> Click Here To See All Archives 2003 Headlines <<<