A momentary lapse in concentration has cost the Joeys as they succumbed 1-0 to a skilful Turkey in the first of a two-game series at Canakkale Stadium.
The Joeys held their own against Turkey before the home side scored in the 64th minute to secure the win in a game scheduled to coincide with ANZAC Day and National Sovereignty and Children's Day (23 April) for Turkey.
An all-star cast of dignitaries were in attendance, including Australia's Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, NSW Premier, Nathan Rees and FFA CEO, Ben Buckley, with the annual event gaining strong support of both the Australian and Turkish governments.
Striker Kerem Bulut led the way for Australia, causing Turkey's defence all sorts of problems with his pace and movement, but without the ultimate reward.
The Joeys settled quickly and produced the first decent chance of the match, but opposition keeper Alican Candemir was quick off his line to deny Stephen Domenici.
Domenici was forced off midway through the first half with a groin strain, which is likely to rule the winger out for the rest of the tour.
Bulut made a clever run and cross for Ersin Kaya, who volleyed the difficult chance over the bar in the 32nd minute.
The Joeys did find the back of the net, but Bulut's 37th-minute strike - after some brilliant interplay - was ruled offside.
With little to do in the first half, keeper Aaron Lennox was kept on his toes in the second as Turkey took advantage of the strong breeze.
Mustafa Amini, who switched from defence to attacking midfield in the second half, blasted a great chance over the bar just two minutes before Turkey's winner.
Turkey, having just made a triple substitution, caught the Joeys off-guard and another sub Ilker Sayan, from Turkish side Dardanelspor, finished neatly from inside the area.
Joeys coach Jan Versleijen said the Turkey match was a great learning experience for this group of players, who have seldom come up against European opposition.
“At the beginning we managed to keep the ball and created some chances but the longer the first half went the more pressure Turkey put on our defensive line so it was harder to get out of pressure,'' Versleijen said after the game.
“But the moment we shouldn't concede the goal, we did and it cost us.
“Kerem Burut did really well. He was the same standard as the Turkish team, he played very good, he was there when we needed him, he created some chances, he scored a goal, which was ruled offside.''
Joeys captain Jared Lum, who did well as a holding midfielder, said the Turks were among the best opposition he's encountered.
“I thought the game was a great opportunity for some of the lads to blend in with a different culture, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity,'' Lum said.
“It was a tough game out there for the boys, but it's a great opportunity and a great learning curb for us.
“Turkey is up there with some of the strongest teams we've come up against, with Brazil, America and Japan."
The second and final match will be played on Sunday (9pm AEST) in Canakkale.
Turkey U-16 1 (Ilker SAYAN '64) defeated Australia 0
Australia: 1. Aaron LENNOX (gk), 2. Nikola STANOJEVIC, 3. Daniel PETKOVSKI, 4. Trent SAINSBURY, 5. Mustafa AMINI (19. Aaron PETERSON '75), 6. Jared LUM, 7. Christopher BUSH, 8. Ersin KAYA (17. John MARTINOVSKI '64), 9. Kerem BULUT (13. Eli BABALJ '69), 10. Damir LOKVANCIC (16. Samuel GALLAWAY '41), 11. Stephen DOMENICI (15. Patrick DIXON '26)
Unused substitutes: 12. Robert KOLAK (gk), 14. Kevin DAVIDSON, 18. Lawrence THOMAS, 20. Alexander MEIBUSCH