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Lone protester disrupts Anzac Day Gallipoli service

Anzac Day protester interrogated after disrupting dawn service at Gallipoli.


Anzac Day Gallipoli 2013

A solemn  dawn service at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli has been disrupted by a lone protester upset with the Australian government.

Turkish authorities say the man, who gave his name as Ali Risa Ersoy, is an Australian citizen.

The protester produced an Australian passport after being detained by police.

He started yelling in Turkish just after Australian Veterans Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon finished his address at Anzac Cove.

Anzac Day 2013 Gallipoli - protester interrogated

The man was eventually led away from the commemorative site and questioned by the Turkish Gendarmerie 200m away in a van parked on Anzac Cove Road.

A Turkish newspaper reporter told AAP the man had been yelling: “The Australian police are trying to kill me.”

When the reporter asked him why, Ali Risa Ersoy made a vague reference to someone being a criminal.

A local officer later told Australian reporters the man had not been arrested but was being “interrogated”.

A judicial process would now play out, the officer said, adding the protester appeared to have a problem with the Australian government.

As Ali Risa Ersoy was transferred from the Gendarmerie van to an unmarked car he yelled: “The scandal is with the government.”

The rest of the dawn service ran as scheduled without interruption.

The protester reportedly said he was a dual national with both Turkish and Australian citizenship.

A Veterans Affairs spokeswoman later said the incident didn’t detract from the significance of the dawn service.

“This was an isolated incident by a lone protester that was dealt with accordingly by the appropriate authorities – the Turkish police,” she said in a statement to AAP.

TOP IMAGE: The Minister of Defence New Zealand, Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman and the Australian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Centenary of Anzac, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP, lay wreaths at the Anzac Day Dawn Service, Gallipoli, Turkey, Thursday, April 25, 2013. (Australian Government)

2ND IMAGE: Ali Risa Ersoy is questioned by Turkish police after disrupting the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli, Thursday, April 25, 2013. A middle-aged man started yelling in Turkish just after Australian Veterans Affairs Minister Warren Snowden had finished his address. (AAP Image/Julian Drape)