Recep Tayyip Erdogan rebuked for politicising Christchurch tragedy ahead of Turkey elections

Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a rally in Istanbul

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a rally in Istanbul

Prime Minister Scott Morrison summoned the Turkish ambassador to a meeting after Erdogan appeared to threaten antipodean tourists who visit Turkey's Gallipoli peninsula. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters is on his way to Turkey to talk to the government about incendiary comments made by the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr Erdogan sparked fury Down Under after he used clips of last week's terror attack at a New Zealand mosque which killed 50 people, at an election rally in the northern town of Eregli. "I've asked for these comments, particularly their reporting of the misrepresented position of Australia on Turkish television, the state-sponsored broadcaster, to be taken down", he said. "If you come as well, like your grandfathers, be sure that you will be gone like your grandfathers".

Australia's travel advice for Turkey is already set at "exercise a high degree of caution", due to the high threat of terrorism.

Acting RSL chairman John King said he fears Australians travelling to Gallipoli to commemorate Anzac Day may feel threatened following the comments, The Australian reported.

In a parallel development, New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters said that he had told his Turkish counterpart that the horrific video didn't represent his country, and added that the clip could endanger Kiwis overseas.

New Zealand has been trying to prevent the use of the videos.

Australian security agencies are assessing whether it is safe for Australians to travel to Turkey for Anzac Day.

New Zealand's global spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, confirmed it had not received any relevant information or intelligence before the shootings.

Referring to antipodean visitors to Gallipoli, he said "Your grandparents came, some of them returned in coffins".

Mr Morrison said he was "very offended" by the comments.

"Each year there always seems to be an issue brought up on the eve of the Gallipoli ceremonies but we are in close contact with DFAT (the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and we expect our tours to go ahead without any issues", they said.

"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 told reporters in Canberra. Although the battle later helped cement friendship between the three countries, more than a century later it remains a highly sensitive subject in both Australia and New Zealand.

Peters said he had complained directly to visiting Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Erdogan, whose party has roots in Turkey's Islamic movement, has also been showing parts of a manifesto said to have been left by the gunman in which he threatens Turks and Erdogan himself.

Latest News