Only 8000 spots up for grabs at Anzac Day centenary

Scenes from Gallipoli and Anzac Cove
Scenes from Gallipoli and Anzac Cove Heidi Costello

AUSSIES hoping to head to Turkey for the Centenary of Anzac Day in 2015 will have to compete for one of 8000 spots in a national ballot.

Veterans Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon said the ballot would also set aside 2000 places for New Zealanders at the official Gallipoli ceremony.

Of the total number of places, 15% would be allocated to direct descendants of Gallipoli veterans, veterans of other overseas operations and secondary students and their chaperones.

The remaining 3000 double passes would be available for all other Australians, and all applicants must be Australian and over 18 years of age.

A further 500 places will be set aside for dignitaries and officials, including widows of Australian First World War veterans and a companion.

Mr Snowdon said the ballot was agreed between the Australian, New Zealand and Turkish government after lengthy negotiations.

After claims some tour companies were already selling "tickets" to the event, Mr Snowdon said it was only a minority of companies doing so.

He said any such claims made by companies were false, and anyone who may have paid for such tickets deserved a full refund of their money.

Mr Snowdon said he had spoken to the companies involved, but he was largely happy the majority of companies were acting responsibly.

It is understood the ballot will be held in early next year, with applications open from November 1 this year.

All passes will be issued as double passes, and the second pass holder does not need to be an Australian citizen, as long as first applicant is.

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Topics:  anzac day gallipoli turkey

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