Published: Wed, March 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

‘Reckless’ and ‘Vile’: Australian PM Hits Erdogan for Christchurch Comments

‘Reckless’ and ‘Vile’: Australian PM Hits Erdogan for Christchurch Comments

It comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments that New Zealanders who travelled to Turkey with bad intentions, would be returned in coffins like their forefathers at Gallipoli.

Mr Erdogan sparked fury Down Under after he used clips of last week's terror attack at a New Zealand mosque which killed 50 people, at an election rally in the northern town of Eregli.

Erdogan also warned that anti-Muslim Australians visiting the country would be "sent back in coffins" like their grandfathers at Gallipoli, which was the scene of a failed attack by Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops in World War 1.

Mr Morrison summoned Turkish ambassador Korhan Karakoc to Parliament House to explain the remarks and tell him the president should withdraw them.

The Australian Prime Minister says he had spoken with the Turkish ambassador and "did not accept the excuses" that had been offered in defence of the comments.

"I don't find them very accurate or truthful as well because the actions of the Australian and New Zealand government [s] have been consistent with our values of welcoming and supporting people from all around the world".

"These are foolish and offensive remarks at a time when New Zealanders are mourning", Mr Shorten said.

In fiery remarks, Morrison accused Erdogan of betraying the promise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - the father of the modern state and a revered figure in Turkey - to forge peace between the two countries.

Last week, a self-avowed white supremacist from Australia killed 50 people attending two mosques in the city of Christchurch and injured nearly as many in what became the deadliest instance of political violence in the country's modern history. "It is truly upsetting", Mr Morrison said. Despite the New Zealand government's efforts to halt its spread, the blurred video with clear sounds of gunfire has repeatedly been shown to thousands of people across Turkey.

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"We have to make sure what is portrayed is an accurate reflection of New Zealand. of our Muslim community and that is his intent".

"Our deputy prime minister will be confronting those comments in Turkey", Ardern said in Christchurch, referring to Winston Peters, who serves as both foreign minister and deputy prime minister.

Morrison said Canberra is also reconsidering its travel advice for Australians planning trips to Turkey.

The massacre was livestreamed on social media and was accompanied by the release of a racist, anti-Muslim, manifesto that also attacked Turkey.

The manifesto references Turkey and the minarets of Istanbul's famed Hagia Sophia, now a museum, that was once a church before becoming a mosque during the Ottoman empire.

Erdogan did not project the video at the Monday event.

A senior Turkish security source said Tarrant entered Turkey twice in 2016 - for a week in March and for more than a month in September.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu later held a telephone conversation with his Australian counterpart, Marise Payne, Turkish Foreign Ministry officials said.

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