Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Turks stick it to selfies

The telescopic sticks used to take self-photos are on the list of prohibited items at this year's service at Anzac Cove in Turkey. Photo / iStock
The telescopic sticks used to take self-photos are on the list of prohibited items at this year's service at Anzac Cove in Turkey. Photo / iStock

Kiwis attending Anzac Day memorials at Gallipoli will have to revert to old-school measures to get their photos, as selfie sticks are banned on the Peninsula.

The telescopic sticks used to take self-photos are on the list of prohibited items at this year's service at Anzac Cove in Turkey. Other items considered detracting, dangerous or a nuisance are large flags, drones, musical instruments and professional photographic equipment.

Hamish Stuart of the RSA said he did not think the banning of selfie sticks was out of respect to fallen Anzac soldiers, rather it was likely a security precaution for the day.

"There's a lot of dignitaries there and a lot of people around," he said.

The RSA respected Turkish decisions about what would or wouldn't be allowed on the day.

Anzac commemorations continued to be a cultural touchstone for many New Zealanders, Stuart said.

"We're seeing more people attending Anzac services in recent years, in hundreds of commemorations held across New Zealand. Kiwis are using this as a time to reflect on what got us here, where we're going, and what's important to us."

Last year more than 20,000 people attended the commemoration service at Anzac Cove to mark 100 years since the Australia New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.

More than 2700 New Zealanders died serving there. It was New Zealand's first major engagement of World War I and the stories of loss from Anzac Cove make up an important part of New Zealand history.

This year's attendance was expected to be the lowest in two decades because of travel warnings for Turkey and the Middle East.

A spokesperson for Albatros Travel, which specialised in taking New Zealand and Australians to commemorative sites, said companies that were normally booked out were struggling to fill one coach.

The Australian Government cancelled its memorial service at Lone Pine but the New Zealand service at Chunuk Bair will go ahead.

The annual Dawn Service at the Anzac Commemorative site starts at 5.30am after an overnight vigil.

The New Zealand memorial service at Chunuk Bair will start at 11.30am.

- Herald on Sunday

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