Erdogan In Hot Water Over Comments About Massacre Of Muslim Worshipers In New Zealand

New Zealand’s foreign minister will travel to Turkey to “set the record straight, face-to-face” regarding comments made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following last week’s massacre of 50 Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch. The Turkish leader caused a firestorm by suggesting that anyone visiting Turkey while espousing anti-Muslim sentiments would be sent home “in coffins,” just as their forebears were during the failed Gallipoli campaign by Allied powers during World War I. Those allies included New Zealand and Australia. Erdogan also raised the ire of Wellington and Canberra by airing at rallies blurred portions of footage that had been live-streamed by white supremacist Brenton Tarrant while he allegedly perpetrated the attack. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison likewise condemned Erdogan’s “reckless” and “highly offensive” behavior and warned that he would consider “all options” in reviewing bilateral ties with Ankara. Erdogan, who considers himself a leader of the Muslim world, is currently on the campaign trail to drum up support for his Islamist-rooted AK Party in March 31 local elections.

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