Turkey arrests suspected IS member planning to attack Anzac commemoration in Gallipoli

Turkey arrests suspected IS member planning to attack Anzac commemoration in Gallipoli
Turkish police on Wednesday said they had arrested a Syrian suspected IS member who they say was planning to attack an ANZAC commemoration service in 'retaliation' for the Christchurch attacks.
2 min read
25 April, 2019
Police say an attack was planned in 'retaliation' for the Christchurch mosque attacks [Anadolu]

Turkey on Wednesday arrested a suspected Islamic State group member it believes was planning to attack a World War One commemoration attended by hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders, police said on Wednesday.

The suspect, a Syrian national, was detained in Tekirdag, a northwestern province not far from the Gallipoli peninsula, a Tekirdag police spokesman said.

Thursday marks Anzac Day, during which Australia and New Zealand hold a national day of remembrance for members of their armed forces who died in conflict, but particularly those who died during the Gallipoli campaign.

Hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders travel to Turkey every year to commemorate the failed 1915 military campaign by the countries' forces, known collectively as ANZAC, to drive Ottoman troops from Gallipoli and the Dardanelles region.

Soldiers from New Zealand, Australia, Turkey and other countries held several services on the peninsula on Wednesday.

Australians and New Zealanders are due to hold a special service at dawn on Thursday to mark the landing by ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) forces.

The man who was arrested was preparing an attack on a commemoration service in "retaliation" for the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, Demiroren news agency reported.

The police spokesman did not specify which commemoration service the detained suspect may have been planning to attack.

Fifty people were killed when a right-wing extremist entered two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on 15 March, shooting worshippers as they took part in the weekly Friday prayers.

Australian Brenton Tarrant has been charged with 50 counts of murder for the shootings.

Although the Islamic State group has not been active in Turkey of late, IS is thought to have been responsible for several bombings that took place between 2015 and 2016.

Those attacks killed around 200 people.