Australian PM denounces Erdogan for 'reckless' NZ attack comments

Erika Holt
March 21, 2019

SYDNEY, AUCKLAND-The Armenian National Committees of Australia and New Zealand (ANC-AU and ANC-NZ) have condemned Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan's threat to return Australians and New Zealanders traveling to Gallipoli for ANZAC Day Commemorations "in their coffins like their grandfathers".

"Anything of that nature that misrepresents this country - given that [the suspect] was a non-New Zealand citizen - imperils the future and safety of the New Zealand people and our people overseas and it's totally unfair", New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said Monday.

Erdogan told his supporters at a rally in northern Turkey.

"The comments completely misrepresented the Australian and New Zealand governments' very strong response to the extremist attack, he said".

She made the comments at a news conference held after meeting with first responder paramedics where she thanked them for their actions in reaction to the shootings.

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.

The bodies of 30 victims had been approved for release to be reunited with their families, Ardern said.

According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu hit back and said: "Turkey's dictator Erdogan attacks Israel's democracy while Turkish journalists and judges fill his prisons".

"Turks have always been the most welcoming & gracious hosts to their #Anzac visitors", he added, referring to Australian and New Zealand veterans and families.

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"They're highly offensive and highly reckless in this sensitive environment", Mr Morrison said.

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.

But tour companies Fanatics and Intrepid say they aren't planning to cancel their upcoming Anzac Day offerings.

ANC-AU has called on the Returned and Services League (RSL) to unequivocally condemn this outburst by Erdogan, which they said "disrespects our ANZAC martyrs and provides a true picture of what the Turkish State thinks of them when the diplomatic veils are lifted".

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.

Morrison's government issued a travel advisory warning people visiting the Gallipoli battlefields for remembrance ceremonies during the anniversary of the campaign next month to exercise caution.

In Australia, Turkish ambassador Korhan Karakoc said he had a "frank" conversation with Morrison when the envoy was summoned to Parliament House on Wednesday.

"I do not accept the excuses that have been offered for those comments", Morrison said.

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