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

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Erdogan had been sharply rebuked by New Zealand for his comments and for using gruesome video shot by the Christchurch mosque gunman as an election campaign prop.

In his remarks on Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "was responding to the so-called "manifesto" of the terrorist who killed 50 innocent Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand" last Friday, Fahrettin Altun, Turkey's presidential communications director, said on Twitter. "If you come as well like your grandfathers (not in peace), be sure that you will be gone like your grandfathers", Erdogan said, adding "the enemies of Muslims have shown that they continue to hate us".

He suggested that the suspected... If you come here with the same intentions [to invade our land] we will be waiting and have no doubt we will see you off like your ancestors.

Relations between Turkey, New Zealand and Australia have generally been good. Erdogan said. "The only reason: We're Muslim, and they're Christian".

Morrison was wary of heightening tensions just one month out from Anzac Day, but told reporters that Turkey's official safe travel status was under review just weeks before hundreds of Australians are set to flock to the country for memorial ceremonies.

Australians and New Zealanders did not go to Gallipoli to wage war on Islam - Turkey had signed a pact to fight for Germany, and those from Australia and NZ were sent to the ill-judged expedition against Germany's allies by British leaders.

New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters protested on Monday that such politicization of the massacre "imperils the future and safety of the New Zealand people and our people overseas, and it's totally unfair".

A day later, following angry diplomatic intervention, and the Australian prime minister appeared mollified by a statement from the Turkish president's adviser saying Erdoğan's words had been "taken out of context", despite his statements having been filmed, and Morrison rejecting the same explanation from the Turkish ambassador.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday that Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Istanbul this week for a meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation to discuss the mosques shootings.

Turkey is heading to key municipal elections which are considered a test for Erdogan's leadership after he considerably strengthened his executive powers following a general election in 2018.

Morrison slammed the comments as "highly offensive", and on Wednesday summoned Turkish Ambassador to Australia, Korhan Karakoc, to explain the remarks.

Turkey's main opposition party has also criticized Erdogan for showing the clip "for the sake of [winning] three or five votes" in the elections.

Lilik Abdul Hamid, an aircraft maintenance engineer at Air New Zealand, was killed in the Al Noor mosque. New Zealand, with the messages they are giving from there.

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

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