Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison summoned Turkish Ambassador Korhan Karakoc on Wednesday, March 20 to denounce Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his comments following a deadly mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, Sputnik International reports.
“Remarks have been made by the Turkish President Erdogan that I consider highly offensive to Australians, and highly reckless in this very sensitive environment. They are offensive because they insult the memory of our Anzacs and they violate the pledge that is etched in the stone at Gallipoli. I do not accept the excuses that have been offered for those comments", Morrison said.
The prime minister added that he would be waiting for the Turkish government to respond to his demand to withdraw Erdogan's comments.
"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 continued, stressing that Australia's ambassador to Turkey will meet with members of Erdogan's government later in the day.
He also pointed out that Canberra was also reconsidering its travel advice for Australians planning trips to Turkey.
Morrison's remarks came in response to Erdogan's fiery speech at a campaign rally, where he blasted New Zealand and Australia for sending troops to Turkey in the World War I Gallipoli campaign, suggesting that their incentive was anti-Muslim-oriented.
"What business did you have here? We had no issues with you, why did you come all the way over here? The only reason: We're Muslim, and they're Christian", Erdogan was cited as saying by The Associated Press.