ANCs of Australia, New Zealand Slam Erdogan’s Threat

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey

SYDNEY, AUCKLAND—The Armenian National Committees of Australia and New Zealand (ANC-AU and ANC-NZ) have condemned Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threat to return Australians and New Zealanders traveling to Gallipoli for ANZAC Day Commemorations “in their coffins like their grandfathers.”

Erdogan let loose with these comments in light of last week’s Christchurch terrorist attack, which resulted in the shooting death of 50 Muslims praying in two Mosques in the New Zealand town.

“Your grandparents (referring to ANZACs of 1915) came, some of them returned in coffins. If you come as well like your grandfathers (not in peace), be sure that you will be gone like your grandfathers,” Erdogan said, adding “the enemies of Muslims have shown that they continue to hate us”.

“They are testing us from 16,500km away, from New Zealand, with the messages they are giving from there. This is not an individual attack, it is organized.”

Erdogan made these comments after an earlier election campaign rally, where he showed footage of the Christchurch gunman’s attack to highlight Islamophobia in Western countries.

“This is an outrageous response from the President of what our countries – Australia and New Zealand – consider an ally,” said ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian. “What happened in Christchurch was a terrorist hate crime, and must be condemned as many in the world have rightly done.”

“What Erdogan is doing is responding to a hate crime by spreading more hate,” Kayserian added. “He is disrespecting ANZACs by referring to their return to Australia and New Zealand in coffins, while at the same time threatening those of our citizens who wish to pay respects to the memory of our ANZACs in Gallipoli.”

The Chairperson of ANC-NZ, Hoory Yeldizian was quick to highlight the differences in response.

“In stark contrast to the exemplary empathy and strong leadership being demonstrated by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during this important juncture, the President of Turkey has yet again demonstrated his insensitivity and international thuggery,” Yeldizian said.

“After all, New Zealand has unequivocally condemned the actions of this terrorist. New Zealand mourns the loss of 50 lives. New Zealand rejects any attempt by Erdogan to paint our society as one with a single extremist or group of extremists,” Yeldizian added.

ANC-AU has called on the Returned and Services League (RSL) to unequivocally condemn this outburst by Erdogan, which they said “disrespects our ANZAC martyrs and provides a true picture of what the Turkish State thinks of them when the diplomatic veils are lifted”.

Kayserian added: “This is not the first time that the ANZAC relationship has been misused by the modern Turkish state, with Erdogan’s government in 2013 threatening to block access to Gallipoli for NSW Parliamentarians who voted on a motion to recognise the Ottoman Genocide of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians.”


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  1. State of Emergency said:

    The protest must be addressed to the New Zealand and Australian governments. Erdogan and Ottoman Turkey are what they are. They will never change. The issue must be with the colluding governments that actually want to do business with the sultan. The choice is clear, they must condemn and punish the genocidal continuum Ottoman government for all past and present violations of international law.

  2. steve Tash said:

    You can change the color of a wild animal but can not change its true nature. Once an Animal always an Animal.

  3. Hagop Varoujian said:

    When a child misbehaves and is not disciplined, will continue to do so and will develop into a spoilt brat. In which case the only persons to blame will be his parents or guardians. So it is with the “small “ man in Turkey. Can anyone in their right mind blame him for his behaviour? When the Western world let’s him get away with murder?

  4. Arsen Tar said:

    erdogan the synthetic khalifet and his hero abdul hamid the second are nothing but butchers.