PM cautions against ‘overstating any link between’ Turkish terror arrest and Gallipoli dawn service

Updated

April 25, 2019 12:56:42

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has distanced Australia from Turkish authorities’ claims to have disrupted a plot to blow up today’s dawn service at Gallipoli.

Key points:

  • Turkish authorities say they arrested a suspected Islamic State member planning to attack the Gallipoli service
  • Scott Morrison said the arrest was “fairly routine” and links to the Gallipoli ceremony were “inconclusive”
  • Mr Morrison said the service would go ahead as planned

Turkish authorities said they arrested a 26-year-old Syrian man in Tekirdag, a north-western province close to the Gallipoli peninsula, on the morning before the dawn service.

They said he was a suspected Islamic State member who was planning to stage an attack at Gallipoli.

Turkish security sources told the ABC the planned attack was in retaliation for the Christchurch mosque attacks.

As hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders gathered at Gallipoli, Mr Morrison cautioned people against “overstating any link between” the arrest and the dawn service.

“It is fairly routine for Turkish authorities to arrest people with suspected terrorist links,” he said.

“The reports that we are receiving are inconclusive about any link between that arrest and any possible planned event at Gallipoli itself.

“In fact, to make that assumption would be, I think, making a very big assumption.

“This is more of a routine thing that we’ve seen happen with Turkish authorities and we could not say at all that there is any link between that arrest and any planned event at Gallipoli.”

Mr Morrison said the service would go ahead as planned.

Earlier, authorities evacuated the memorial site and searched for bombs or other threats, but found nothing, while attendees were patted down by heavy security after walking through metal detectors.

Turkey banned its own citizens from attending the Anzac Day dawn service due to security concerns.

More to come.

Topics:

terrorism,

anzac-day,

defence-forces,

government-and-politics,

turkey,

australia

First posted

April 25, 2019 12:20:20

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