Making the most of a massacre

There is nothing like a massacre of Muslims in a western country to bolster your election chances… if you are Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that is. All the goodwill shared between Turkey and New Zealand (and Australia) lies bleeding on the ground now that Erdogan has an election to win.

This is a shame, particularly when we share the tragedy of Gallipoli, over a hundred years ago, and we thought that there was a blood tie between the two countries as a result. But hey. Such things as goodwill and international diplomacy pale into insignificance when your political future is on the line. Let’s just say, if he does not win the election, he might not be wise to try a career in international diplomacy. quote.

Australia’s national security agencies are reviewing whether it is safe to travel to Gallipoli for Anzac Day services while their prime minister, Scott Morrison, considers expelling Turkey’s ambassador.

Morrison was considering the expulsion over “highly offensive and highly reckless” comments made at a political rally by Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Morrison met with the ambassador at Australia’s Parliament House on Wednesday morning, where he asked for Erdogan to withdraw the remarks made overnight. end quote.

Erdogan has even been using the video made by He Who Must Not Be Named (thank you, Jacinda, or should I say, JK Rowling) in his election campaign. If that is not a special kind of sick, I am not sure what would be. quote.

“You heinously killed 50 of our siblings. You will pay for this,” Erdogan was reported as saying at the rally, in which he also aired segments of the livestream shared to Facebook by the accused Christchurch gunman.

end quote

I know of Afghanis, Pakistanis, Indians and Palestinians. I am not aware of any Turks being killed in Christchurch, but I am absolutely certain that there are not 50 dead Turks as a result of the shootings. Erdogan, like a number of local politicians and media people, is making the most of a massacre. Shame on you all. quote.

Erdogan also called on New Zealand to hand the accused the death penalty, and said that any anti-Muslim attacks in his own country would result in the offenders going home “in caskets”.

end quote.

We don’t have the death penalty in New Zealand, because we consider it to be barbaric. It is unlikely that any New Zealanders will travel to Turkey to blow people up. Particularly Turks. Until now, we thought we were kindred spirits, bound by a battle that went badly wrong over 100 years ago. It seems that relationship was built on shifting sands. Not that we thought that until now, of course. quote.

“Your grandparents came here… and they returned in caskets,” Erdogan said, referencing the thousands of Australian and New Zealand soldiers who died during the Gallipoli Campaign in Turkey during World War I.
“Have no doubt we will send you back like your grandfathers.”

end quote.

This divisive and insulting attitude will guarantee that very few New Zealand and Australian travellers will make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli any time soon. Apart from the fact that I am delighted that their tourist income will plummet, it is also an insult to Turks who felt a camaraderie with New Zealanders whose ancestors fought there. For they also have ancestors who fought there. And these guys vote, Mr Erdogan.

Scott Morrison wasn’t happy. quote.

“They insult the memory of our Anzacs,” Morrison said. “It was highly offensive to Australians and highly reckless.”

Morrison said he did not accept that the President’s comments reflected the feeling of the people of Turkey and “all options were on the table” in terms of Australia’s response.

Morrison met with the Turkish ambassador Korhan Karakoc at Parliament House on Wednesday morning.

“I do not accept the excuses that have been offered for those comments,” he said.

Stuff. end quote.

May I remind you of the words said by Ataturk about the Anzacs: words that Erdogan might do well to revisit. quote.

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a?friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the?Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours … You, the mothers?who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in?our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our?sons as well.

Thanks to Erdogan, it doesn’t sound like a very friendly country now, does it? Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, you just wrecked 100 years of goodwill between our countries. I hope you are proud.