Abbott to raise Turkey border issue during Gallipoli talks
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott will urge Turkish leaders this week to address the nation's porous borders in an effort to stop Australians fighting with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Mr Abbott will travel to Turkey for Anzac Day commemorations this Saturday, saying from New Zealand on Monday the border crossings would be raised.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come under pressure, particularly from the United States, over Turkey's role in reportedly turning a blind eye to IS fighters using the nation as a "transit country" to fronts in Syria and Iraq.
The nation's leadership also has been criticised by some Western leaders for its alleged role in helping finance IS by buying oil from IS-controlled fields in Syria.
While Mr Abbott did not say he would meet person
ally with President Erdogan to raise the border issue, he said he would talk to "Turkish leadership" about what more could be done to police the borders.
"It is absolutely critical that as far as humanly possible, we stop gullible, impressionable young Australians from going to places where they could very easily be killed or they could get caught up in something which is in no one's interests," he said.
He again urged anyone considering making the trip to fight with foreign forces not to go, saying Australia was doing "everything we can at every level to prevent people from making that horrible, horrible trip".
Mr Abbott's comments follow the arrest of five young Melbourne men linked to Numan Haider, an 18-year-old Australian man shot dead by police after attacking them with a knife in September last year.
The men, two of whom were remanded in police custody, allegedly were planning a domestic terror attack in Australia on Anzac Day, this Saturday, a plot foiled by the arrests.
After Mr Abbott on Sunday urged the public not to be deterred from attending Anzac Day events, he said there would be a "visible security presence" at events around the country.
He assured Australians headed to Gallipoli the Turkish Government would have a "strong security presence" at events there.