New Zealand says it will confront Turkish President Recep Erdogan “face to face” about inflammatory comments he has made in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.
“If you come in peace, fine, if not, you will be sent back in coffins the way your forefathers were dispatched after the Gallipoli Battle of WW1,” Erdogan said regarding New Zealanders and Australians who might visit Turkey for Anzac Day in April.
Turkey’s #Erdogan threatens NewZealanders & Australians who plan to visit #Turkey for #Anzac Day in April. “If you come in peace, fine, if not, you will be sent back in COFFINS the way your forefathers were despatched after the Gallipoli Battle of WW1. pic.twitter.com/jjW8n3kg27
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) March 19, 2019
New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters, who also serves as deputy prime minister, will be dispatched to Turkey to mitigate potential diplomatic fallout as a result of Erdogan’s rhetoric.
“Our deputy prime minister will be confronting those comments in Turkey,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “He is going there to set the record straight, face to face.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also condemned Erdogan’s comments as “highly offensive” and “highly reckless” and demanded they be withdrawn.
“I will wait to see what the response is from the Turkish government before taking further action, but I can tell you that all options are on the table,” Morrison said, indicating his administration may reconsider its travel advice for Turkey.
Erdogan has been using the Christchurch massacre to leverage political support, showing previously livestreamed footage from the attack at campaign rallies, and also displaying excerpts from the alleged killer’s manifesto.
FM Peters has called Erdogan’s tactics “totally unfair,” saying, “Anything of that nature that misrepresents this country, given that this was a non-New Zealand citizen, imperils the future and safety of the New Zealand people and our people abroad.”
The infamous “14 words” were plastered all over the weapons of the mosque shooter in an attempt to start a global race war.
Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst