Erdoğan’s words on Australia, New Zealand taken out of context: Turkish presidency

Mar 23, 2019, 01:43
Erdoğan’s words on Australia, New Zealand taken out of context: Turkish presidency

Mr Morrison - who is also in full campaign mode, ahead of a general election - had on Wednesday (March 20) pilloried Mr Erdogan for his comments in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, describing them as "reckless" and "highly offensive".

The first victims of the Christchurch attacks were buried on Wednesday.

President Erdogan of Turkey has been accused of using the terrorist attack in New Zealand to stoke anti-western nationalism among his supporters before local elections this month. "If you come as well like your grandfathers, be sure that you will be gone like your grandfathers", he was reported as saying.

Erdogan let loose with these comments in light of last week's Christchurch terrorist attack, which resulted in the shooting death of 50 Muslims praying in two Mosques in the New Zealand town.

Meanwhile, official travel advice for Turkey is still under review, with thousands of Australians planning to attend Anzac Day services. "As such, the statement is very unfortunate and incompatible with the good neighborly relations as well as the environment of trust that we try to develop with this country", the statement added.

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Foreign Minister Winston Peters is on his way to Turkey to talk to the government about incendiary comments made by the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr Peters also discussed the need for increased cooperation between the two countries on the issue of extremism.

"We have reached out to embrace our Muslim brothers and sisters in New Zealand and in Australia, quite to the contrary of the vile assertion that has been made about our response", Morrison said.

Peters had earlier condemned the airing of footage of the shooting, which he said could endanger New Zealanders overseas.

Morrison said he had asked for the remarks to be clarified and withdrawn.

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Judging from the manifesto published by Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the 28-year-old Australian shooter, he was backed by global anti-Islamic forces hostile to Turkey, former Minister of European Union Affairs Egemen Bagis opined in an interview with Sputnik Turkey.

And it is even further, as Morrison and many others noted, from the sentiment towards Australia and New Zealand of Turkey under Ataturk, with his reputed comments in 1934 of onetime enemies at Gallipoli "now lying in the soil of a friendly country".

"He is disrespecting ANZACs by referring to their return to Australia and New Zealand in coffins, while at the same time threatening those of our citizens who wish to pay respects to the memory of our ANZACs in Gallipoli".

The governments of New Zealand, Britain, and Australia have urged the tech giants to do more to halt the spreading of offensive material and terrorist content online.

"Overnight, progress has been made on this issue and overnight we've already seen a moderation of the president's views, expressed in an article in the Washington Post today and I welcome that moderation in those views", a notably calmer Morrison said on Thursday.

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