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    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an Iftar, the evening meal breaking the Ramadan fast, at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, May 19, 2018

    Erdogan’s Comment on New Zealand Attack Taken Out of Context - Spokesman

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    ANKARA (Sputnik) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s words on the Christchurch attacks, including what many considered threats toward the citizens of Australia and New Zealand having anti-Muslim views, were taken out of context, Fahrettin Altun, the Communications Director of the Turkish president, has said.

    Earlier this week, media have reported, that Erdogan said citizens of Australia and New Zealand having anti-Muslim views would return home from Turkey "in coffins," like their "grandparents" did after the so-called Gallipoli Campaign during World War I, involving the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). The comment followed the attack on two mosques in New Zealand which left 50 people killed last Friday and sparked criticism of the authorities of both Australia and New Zealand. The suspect in the attack is an Australian national and a resident of New Zealand who wrote a manifesto including anti-Muslim statements.

    "President #Erdogan’s words were unfortunately taken out of context. He was responding to the so-called ‘manifesto’ of the terrorist who killed 50 innocent Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. Turks have always been the most welcoming & gracious hosts to their #Anzac visitors. The terrorist’s manifesto not only targeted Erdogan himself but also the Turkish people and the Turkish state. As he was giving the speech at the Canakkale (Gallipoli) commemoration, he framed his remarks in a historical context of attacks against Turkey, past and present," Altun wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

    Erdogan’s statement prompted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to summon the Turkish ambassador in Canberra. Moreover, Morrison said he was considering various options in reviewing Australia’s ties with Turkey. The prime minister also called on Erdogan to make an apology for his comment.

    New Zealand’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters would "confront" the comment by Erdogan, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

    READ MORE: Erdogan Confirms New Zealand Shooting Suspect Visited Turkey Twice

    The situation might also affect the upcoming travel of the citizens of Australia and New Zealand to Turkey for the so-called Anzac Day on April 25 to mark the battle of Gallipoli. Specifically, Morrison called on Australians travelling to Turkey to be cautious. Moreover, Australia’s travel advice to its nationals for the Anzac Day trip was under review, according to local media reports.

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    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, New Zealand, Turkey
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