Turkey's president shows footage of New Zealand mosque attacks at rallies

Leroy Wright
March 21, 2019

In more inflammatory comments, Erdogan also said that Australians and New Zealanders traveling to Turkey with anti-Muslim sentiments would be sent back in coffins, "like their grandfathers" were in the Gallipoli campaign.

'Your grandparents came, some of them returned in coffins, ' Mr Erdogan warned Australians. Erdogan said Tarrant had visited Turkey twice in 2016.

Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said comments made by Erdogan on Monday during the commemoration of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign were taken out of context, adding he was responding to the attacker's "manifesto", which was posted online by the attacker and later taken down.

The comments came at a campaign rally that included video footage of the shootings that the alleged gunman had broadcast on Facebook.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday after the Turkish leader made the shocking comments at a political rally while denouncing Islamophobia.

Morrison said he did not accept that the President's comments reflected the feeling of the people of Turkey and "all options were on the table" in terms of Australia's response.

New Zealand's worldwide spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, confirmed it had not received any relevant information or intelligence before the shootings.

He also accused Erdogan of betraying the promise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - the father of modern Turkey - who sought reconciliation between his country and those that fought against it during World War I.

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"I've asked for these comments, particularly their reporting of the misrepresented position of Australia on Turkish television, the state-sponsored broadcaster, to be taken down and I expect that to occur".

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

A memorial at the battlefield carries Ataturk's words: "There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets... after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well".

He is likely to meet members of Erdoğan's cabinet when he attends an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation in Istanbul, which will be addressed by Erdoğan on Friday.

In the piece, Erdogan also called on Western leaders to learn from "the courage, leadership and sincerity" of New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and "embrace Muslims living in their respective countries".

Erdogan screened partially blurry footage of the shootings with the caption, "A terrorist who is the enemy of Islam and the Turks", during a number of election campaign events over the weekend, the Financial Times reported.

Speaking to the Daily Express, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said social media platforms must do more to tackle offensive content or face legal ramifications, saying they had a "responsibility not to do the terrorists' work for them".

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