Turkish authorities on Wednesday arrested a suspected Islamic State member they believe was planning to attack ANZAC Day commemorations in Turkey, attended by hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders, Reuters reported.
The suspect, a Syrian national, was detained in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ, close to the Gallipoli peninsula, Reuters quoted a Tekirdağ police spokesman as saying.
Held every April 25, the event recalls the 1915 World War One battle between defending Ottoman forces and an assault by British and French forces and troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) trying to capture the Gallipoli peninsula.
Some 1,500 New Zealanders and Australians are expected to attend Thursday’s ceremony.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last month threatened to send hostile visitors from those countries home in coffins, sparking a diplomatic row.
His comments followed the New Zealand mosque attacks of March 15, when an Australian national opened fire on two mosques during Friday prayers, killing 50 and injuring 50 others.
“Your grandfathers came and saw that we’re here. Then some of them walked back, while others left in coffins,” Erdoğan said. “If you come with the same intention, we’ll be waiting for you.”