Yesterday, NewZealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said President Erdogan showing video of Christchurch terror attack at political rallies was unfair and harmful. Today in yet another rally Erdogan did the same, linking terrorism again to Turkey opposition leader. Extraordinary.
The partially blurred video of accused gunman Brenton Tarrant entering a mosque and shooting Muslim worshippers was played at the rallies, while a caption read "A terrorist who is the enemy of Islam and the Turks."
New Zealand foreign minister Winston Peters condemned the move - saying that it misrepresented his country and endangered Kiwis abroad. On Monday Peters warned Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu over Erdogan's decision to show the footage. The Turkish politicians had arrived in Christchurch on Sunday to express their condolences.
"We made it very clear that we oppose terrorism in whatever shape and form it might be and that we are for a free and open society," said Peters, who added "We had a long dialogue on the need for any other country, or Turkey for that matter, to ensure that our country, New Zealand, was not misrepresented," according to the New Zealand Herald.
Despite protests from New Zeland government, Turkish president Erdogan for the 7th time displayed horrible footage of Christchurch MosqueAttack in TODAY's rally in Zonguldak province, broadcasted from giant screens next to his podium, all televised live in dozen TV networks.
On Monday, Erdogan invoked the 1915-16 victory of Ottoman soldiers against the Brisish at Gallipoli - connecting it to the New Zealand attack during monday commemorations. "One century on, they are still testing Turkey’s patience and determination," he said. "They are testing us with the messages they are giving from 16,500km away in New Zealand. This isn’t an individual act, this is organised."
Turkey's Erdogan threatens New Zealanders & 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.” Declared Erdogan.
|More than 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed in the landing battles at ANZAC Cove in Gallipoli, Turkey.|
Erdogan’s party is locked in a series of tight electoral battles to retain control of the nation’s most important cities amid a painful economic downturn. Most pollsters predict a loss of support for his ruling Justice and Development party given the sky-high inflation and rising unemployment that has followed last year’s currency crisis.
Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, director of the Ankara office of the German Marshall Fund think-tank, said that given that backdrop it was little surprise that the Turkish president had seized on an attack that killed 50 Muslims during his campaigning.
"The only way he can contain the loss of votes that is a result of economic voting behaviour is through political tribalism, or identity politics," said Unluhisarcikli. "Muslims being killed in a mosque by a white supremacist is definitely an incident that can be used to trigger these values."
Turkey's president has shown parts of a video of the terror attack on New Zealand mosques to comment on what he called rising Islamophobia. An Australian-born man is facing a murder charge after 50 people were shot dead and dozens more injured at two Christchurch mosques on Friday during prayers.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed the clips at the weekend during campaign rallies for local elections on March 31. The video, which was blurred but had clear sounds of automatic gunfire, was shown to thousands of people at the rallies and was aired live on Turkish television.
Erdogan used the video to comment on attacks on Islam and rising Islamophobia. He accused the Western world for not calling the attack on the two Christchurch mosques "Christian terror," when acts committed by Muslims are called "Islamic terror." He also referred to a manifesto by the suspected attacker, Brenton Tarrant, in which he threatened Turks and vowed to make Istanbul "Christian owned once more."
Erdogan then shifted his rhetoric to slamming the main opposition's leader, as is common in all of his campaign rallies. He criticised the Republican People's Party's Kemal Kilicdaroglu for blaming Islam and Muslims for the attack. The opposition leader had condemned the attack on Friday and also said the Islamic world should look within itself to understand the causes of terrorism.
Faik Oztrak, the vice chairman of the Republic People's Party, or CHP, accused Erdogan of using the video as "propaganda materials for the sake of three or five votes." His comments were carried by the official Anadolu news agency on Sunday.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said on Monday that he told his Turkish counterpart and Erdogan's vice president, who were visiting the country, that the video does not represent New Zealand. Mr Peters said it could also endanger New Zealanders. Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos of the Christchurch shootings during the first 24 hours after the massacre.
|Brenton Tarrant definitely has read Erdogan's deadly horrifying Islamist poem.|
The Turkish President has threatened that New Zealanders will be returned in coffins if they travel to Turkey for anti-Muslim reasons - and Winston Peters has responded. Tayyip Erdogan is campaigning for re-election in Turkey and has been playing the video made by the alleged Christchurch gunman of his murders at campaign rallies.
Speaking just across the water from the Gallipoli peninsula, Erdogan said if New Zealanders travel to Turkey with bad intentions they will be sent home in coffins like their grandfathers. In five weeks, New Zealanders will be making their annual pilgrimage to Gallipoli for ANZAC Day.
Asked if New Zealanders should be concerned for their safety travelling to Turkey ahead of ANZAC Day, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said: "I am going to Turkey today to put the record straight."
Erdogan has been campaigning ahead of local elections and at his rallies has been playing an edited version of the alleged Christchurch gunman's video of the massacre - an attempt to whip up support with Islamist followers.
On Monday, Peters was fuming, saying: "It imperils the future ... totally unfair." He said he intends to put the record straight that New Zealand is an innocent party to the act of a foreigner - something he said Erdogan "knows". He said he intends to "put New Zealand's record as an innocent party to an act of a foreigner in our country".
"He knows the separation of us and Australia - some countries don't think we're different but we are," he said, referring to the Australian nationality of the alleged 28-year-old gunman, Brenton Tarrant.
The Turkish Vice President and Foreign Minister were in Christchurch in the immediate aftermath of the attack visiting injured Turks. "New Zealand is one of the most tolerant and peaceful countries in the world," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
Peters sent the delegation home with a message. He said he has "spoken to the VP and the FM. They left at 4 o'clock this morning - they'll have a chance to set the record straight when they get home." But Erdogan's inflammatory statements have been made, and the sick video has been played - damage already done.
|Red-blooded Winston Peters, the New Zeland Deputy PM / Foreign Minister, was understandably|
pissed off by Erdogan's hostile act and horrible death threats against New Zelanders.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slammed Turkey's President and threatened further action for "deeply offensive" comments besmirching Anzacs and threatening violence to Australians and New Zealanders following the Christchurch massacre. The PM threatens further action against Turkey unless the comments are withdrawn
Australia will review its travel advice for Turkey following President Tayyip Erdogan's threats Australians visiting Gallipoli would return in coffins like their grandparents if they came to the country with anti-Muslim sentiment.
Mr Morrison summoned the Turkish ambassador Korhan Karakoç to Parliament House this morning and left the meeting warning he would take further action. "I do not accept the excuses that have been offered for those comments," Mr Morrison told reporters after his meeting with the ambassador. Mr Erdogan criticised the Anzacs for their role in the Gallipoli campaign and threatened to return anyone who came to his country with anti-Islam sentiment back in coffins.
Mr Morrison said he had spoken with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and would continue to liaise with the New Zealand Government in response to the comments. He said he wanted the comments withdrawn and the state broadcaster to revoke its "misrepresentation" of Australian policy.
Mr Morrison said failure to do that would prompt further action. "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," he said.
Before speaking with the ambassador, Mr Morrison told the ABC he was "very offended" with Mr Erdogan's remarks. "I don't find these comments very helpful," he said. "I don't find them very accurate or truthful as well, because the actions of the Australian and New Zealand government[s] have been consistent with our values of welcoming and supporting people from all around the world."
Mr Erdogan, who has been touring the country ahead of local elections later this month, again showed excerpts of a video taken by the attacker during the mosque shootings and denounced what he called rising hatred and prejudice against Islam.
He criticised New Zealand and Australia for sending troops to Turkey in the World War I Gallipoli campaign, claiming their motive was anti-Islam-oriented. "Your grandparents came here … and they returned in caskets," he said. "Have no doubt we will send you back like your grandfathers."
Mr Erdogan said Turkey was wrong to have abolished the death penalty 15 years ago, and added that New Zealand should make legal arrangements so the Christchurch gunman could face capital punishment.
"Australia has denounced, New Zealand has denounced, absolutely and completely, the act of extremist right-wing terrorism, white supremacist terrorism that we saw in New Zealand," Mr Morrison said before meeting with the ambassador.
"We could not have been more forward leaning in offering our great condolence and support to the Muslim community both in New Zealand and in Australia. I find the responsibility, in these situations, of all leaders is to take the temperature down on these issues, and I don't intend to seek to escalate that in the response I'm giving today."