NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has hit back at a potential Turkish ban on MPs attending the Gallipoli centenary

Source: ABCNews

The New South Wales Government has reacted harshly to reports the Turkish speaker of parliament has threatened to ban MPs from attending the centenary commemorations of the Gallipoli landing.

Tension between the NSW Parliament and Turkish authorities first erupted in May, when MPs passed a motion recognising the Armenian genocide.

Genocide scholars say that from 1915 to 1923 more than 1 million Armenians lost their lives at the hands of the Ottoman empire.

Turkey has long disputed it was genocide.

Places limited for Gallipoli landings centenary.

The Turkish speaker of parliament, Cemil Cicek, has reportedly called on the State Government to withdraw its resolution.

He says NSW MPs could be banned from attending the 2015 Anzac centenary at Gallipoli if action is not taken.

In a statement, Premier Barry O’Farrell said anyone associated with the Turkish government should not use the centenary for political purposes and labelled the comments “deplorable”.

It comes after the ABC revealed that one of the world’s most vocal Armenian genocide deniers is set to make an address at Parliament House in Canberra next week.

The address, titled “What happened during 1915-1923”, will be given by Professor Justin McCarthy, an American history professor whom many Armenians view with the same disdain as Jews view Holocaust denier David Irving.

Ballot opens for Gallipoli centenary tickets

The escalation of tensions between NSW and Turkey comes as the ballot for Australians hoping to attend the 2015 Anzac centenary at Gallipoli opens.

A total of 6,000 tickets will be available to the general public, and another 2,000 will be reserved for direct descendents of World War One veterans, veterans of other wars and school children.

The Federal Government will extend personal invitations to the 160 surviving widows of World War I veterans.

Ballot key dates

The ballot will close at the end of January and the Government expects to announce the results in March.

Veterans Affairs Minister Senator Michael Ronaldson says Prime Minister Tony Abbott will attend the event and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will also be invited.

But he says the remaining official delegation will be small to ensure as many members of the public can attend.

He says that although attending Anzac Day commemorations in 2015 would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, if unsuccessful in the ballot, visitors could also consider visiting Gallipoli at another time during the centenary year.

“The Gallipoli campaign lasted eight months from April to December 1915,” he said.

“I encourage those who may not be successful in the ballot to consider visiting Gallipoli at another time in 2015.”

The ballot had initially been delayed over fairness concerns.

Ελλάδα – Ρουμανία 3-1 All Goals & Highlights Greece vs Romania {15/11/2013}

Greece 3-1 Romania: Masterful Mitroglou puts hosts in control of the tie

The Olympiakos striker scored on either side of Dimitris Salpingidis’ goal to seal a vital first-leg win, although Bogdan Stancu kept the visitors alive.

Two goals from Konstantinos Mitroglou saw Greece beat Romania 3-1 in Piraeus on Friday and seize control of the World Cup playoff.

The Olympiakos star – who has been in superb form this season – scored on either side of a Dimitris Salpingidis strike to cancel out Bogdan Stancu’s early equalizer and ensure Greece goes into next week’s second leg in Bucharest as the favorite to qualify.

Mitroglou claimed his first with a cushioned volley, before the visitors equalized five minutes later courtesy of Stancu’s header.

Salpingidis regained the lead for Greece almost immediately with a tap-in, and Mitroglou netted his second of the game in the 66th minute with another volley before Costin Lazar was sent off in stoppage time.

Both sides made three changes from their last group-stage qualifiers, with Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos among those to return for the hosts while Bogdan Lobont lined up in goal for Romania after first-choice goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu injured his back in training.

The first action of note brought the opening goal in the 14th minute, as Salpingidis’ lofted pass caught the visiting defense square and Mitroglou was left all alone to volley home from 12 yards.

Greece’s lead lasted just five minutes, though, as Stancu nodded home from a tight angle at the far post after getting on the end of Gabriel Torje’s free kick from the left. That was the first goal the Greeks had conceded at home in their qualifying campaign, but it appeared to have no ill effect as they restored their advantage immediately.

Georgios Samaras found Vasilis Torosidis on the right side, and his cushioned first-time cross was converted by Salpingidis sliding in at the far post.

Six minutes before the break, Razvan Cocis wasted a golden chance to equalize when he blazed over from 10 yards following Cristian Tanase’s penetrating pass.

After a quiet start to the second period, Mitroglou doubled the hosts’ advantage midway through the half. Samaras’ left-wing free kick was flicked on by Konstantinos Katsouranis and the ball was allowed to travel across the box to Mitroglou, who volleyed home with the aid of a deflection.

Lobont denied Mitroglou his hat trick six minutes later, and substitute Theofanis Gekas had an 89th-minute strike ruled out for offside before Romania’s substitute Lazar saw red in stoppage time for a second bookable offense.

Samaras then missed a golden opportunity to all but seal Greece’s place at Brazil 2014 when he headed over from 6 yards in injury time, but Fernando Santos’ side still heads to Bucharest in control of the series at the halfway stage.

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