Update: Turkey’s Erdogan sparks diplomatic row with Australia and New Zealand

Update 11.35am: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again showed excerpts of a video taken by the attacker who killed 50 people in mosques in New Zealand, as he denounced what he called rising hatred and prejudice against Islam.

Speaking at a campaign rally in the northern town of Eregli, Mr Erdogan also criticised New Zealand and Australia for sending troops to Turkey in the First World War Gallipoli campaign, claiming their motive was anti-Islam-oriented.

He called on New Zealand to amend its laws to ensure that the attacker is severely punished.

“What business did you have here? We had no issues with you, why did you come all the way over here?” Mr Erdogan said.

“The only reason: We’re Muslim, and they’re Christian.”

In inflammatory comments on Monday, Mr Erdogan had also suggested that anyone who comes to Turkey with anti-Muslim sentiments would be sent back in coffins, “like their grandfathers were” during the Gallipoli campaign.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits the graves of fallen Turkish soldiers in Canakkale on Monday (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

Those comments were made in Canakkale province in north-western Turkey, which is home to the historic battlefields, on the anniversary of a First World War Turkish naval victory.

The comments drew a strong protest from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who called in Turkey’s ambassador and demanded they be withdrawn.

His government issued a travel advisory warning people visiting Canakkale for the anniversary to exercise caution.

Mr Morrison said “all options are on the table” if Mr Erdogan does not withdraw his comments.

Turkish ambassador Korhan Karakoc said he had a “frank” conversation with Mr Morrison when the envoy was summoned to Parliament House on Wednesday.

Hundreds of New Zealanders and Australians travel to Canakkale each year for Anzac Day on April 25, to mark the start of the battle of Gallipoli and to commemorate the dead.

Remarks have been made by the Turkish President Erdogan that I consider highly offensive to Australians and highly reckless in this very sensitive environment

“Remarks have been made by the Turkish President Erdogan that I consider highly offensive to Australians and highly reckless in this very sensitive environment,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra, Australia’s capital.

“They are offensive because they insult the memory of our Anzacs and they violate the pledge that is etched in the stone at Gallipoli,” he said, referring to a promise made by the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, that those who are buried rest on friendly soil.

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

Since the weekend, the Turkish leader has been using clips of the Christchurch attack to denounce Islamophobia during campaign rallies, as he tries to stoke nationalist and religious sentiments ahead of March 31 local elections.

The video, which was blurred but had clear sounds of automatic gunfire, has been shown to thousands of people at the rallies and aired live on Turkish television, despite efforts by New Zealand to halt its spread.

The video prompted widespread condemnation.

Facebook said it removed 1.5 million versions of the video in the first 24 hours after Friday’s attack.

Turkey’s main opposition party has also criticised Mr Erdogan for showing the clip “for the sake of (winning) three or five votes” in the elections.

New Zealand foreign minister Winston Peters said on Monday that he told his Turkish counterpart the video does not represent New Zealand.

Mr Peters is due in Turkey later this week to attend a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation in Istanbul as an observer.

The New Zealand embassy in Ankara also said Mr Peters had raised the issue with a Turkish delegation in New Zealand.

It said the embassy in Ankara and other embassies worldwide had requested that media outlets not show the footage.

- Press Association

Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Australian PM criticises Turkish president's comments in wake of mosque shooting

Update 9.20am: Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has condemned comments made by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Gallipoli in the wake of the New Zealand mosque attack.

Mr Erdogan criticised New Zealand and Australia for sending troops to Turkey in the First World War, claiming their motive was anti-Islam.

Mr Erdogan, while campaigning for local elections, presented the mosque shooting in Christchurch as part of an assault on Turkey and Islam.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He said that "anti-Muslim Australians" would suffer the same fate as the country's soldiers who fought in Gallipoli during World War I.

Mr Morrison told reporters today the remarks were "highly offensive to Australians and highly reckless in this very sensitive environment".

"I understand the deep offence Australians would be feeling about this. It is truly upsetting," he said.

"I have conveyed that in the strongest possible terms to the Turkish Ambassador today, and I do not accept the excuses that have been offered for those comments."

Earlier: Father and son who fled Syria are buried after New Zealand mosque shooting

A father and son who fled the civil war in Syria for “the safest country in the world” were buried today, the first two funerals for victims of shootings at two mosques in New Zealand.

The funerals of Khalid Mustafa, 44, and Hamza Mustafa, 15, came five days after a white supremacist methodically gunned down 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch — a massacre that he broadcast live on Facebook.

The teenager’s principal described the student as compassionate and hard-working, and said he was an excellent horse rider who aspired to be a veterinarian.

Mourners wait in queue for a burial of a victim of the mosque shootings (Mark Baker/AP)

Those present included Hamza’s younger brother, 13-year-old Zaed, whose arm and leg was injured in the attack.

The boy tried to stand during the ceremony but had to sit back into his wheelchair, one mourner said.

“We tried to not shake his hand, and not touch his hand or his foot but he refused, he wanted to shake everybody’s hand, he wanted to show everyone that he appreciated them. And that’s amazing,” said Jamil El-Biza, who travelled from Australia to attend the funeral.

Zaed Mustafa, brother of Hamza and son of Khalid Mustafa, attended the funerals (Mark Baker/AP)

The Mustafas had moved to New Zealand last year, after spending six years as refugees in Jordan.

Mustafa’s wife Salwa told Radio New Zealand that when the family asked about New Zealand they were told “it’s the safest country in the world, the most wonderful country you can go … you will start a very wonderful life there”.

She added: “But it wasn’t.”

Families of those killed had been anxiously awaiting word on when they could bury their loved ones.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police have now formally identified and released the remains of 21 of those killed.

Islamic tradition calls for bodies to be cleansed and buried as soon as possible.

The burials got under way shortly after the country’s prime minister renewed her call to remember the victims rather than the Australian gunman accused of slaughtering them.

Where the mosque shootings took place (PA Graphics)

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s plea not to give any notoriety to the accused 28-year-old white supremacist first came in a speech to Parliament prompted by the accused gunman’s decision to dismiss his lawyer and represent himself.

The move had raised concerns he would use the trial as a platform for his racist views.

During a visit to Hamza’s high school on Wednesday, Ms Ardern revisited that thought and asked students not to say the attacker’s name or dwell on him.

“Look after one another but also let New Zealand be a place where there is no tolerance for racism,” she told students at Cashmere High School. “That’s something we can all do.”

Another Cashmere student, 14-year-old Sayyad Milne, also died in the attack.

The shooter’s desire for attention was made clear in a manifesto sent to Ms Ardern’s office and others minutes before Friday’s massacre and by his live-streamed footage of his attack on the Al Noor mosque.

The video prompted widespread revulsion and condemnation and Facebook said it removed 1.5 million versions of the video during the first 24 hours.

They have given us updates on their efforts to have it removed, but as I say, it's our view that it cannot — should not — be distributed, available, able to be viewed

But Ms Ardern expressed frustration that the footage remained online, four days later.

“We have been in contact with Facebook; they have given us updates on their efforts to have it removed, but as I say, it’s our view that it cannot — should not — be distributed, available, able to be viewed,” she said.

“It is horrendous and while they’ve given us those assurances, ultimately the responsibility does sit with them.”

Lawyer Richard Peters, who was assigned to represent Brenton Harrison Tarrant at his initial court appearance on Saturday, told the New Zealand Herald that Tarrant dismissed him that day.

A judge ordered Tarrant to return to New Zealand’s High Court on April 5 for his next hearing on one count of murder, though he is expected to face additional charges.

The 28-year-old Australian is being held in isolation in a Christchurch jail.

“He seemed quite clear and lucid, whereas this may seem like very irrational behaviour,” Mr Peters told the newspaper. “He didn’t appear to me to be facing any challenges or mental impairment, other than holding fairly extreme views.”

A man pays respects at the Al Noor mosque at a park in Christchurch, New Zealand (Vincent Yu/AP)

Ms Ardern previously has said her Cabinet had agreed in principle to tighten gun restrictions in New Zealand and those reforms would be announced next week.

She also had announced an inquiry into the intelligence and security services’ failures to detect the risk from the attacker or his plans.

There have been concerns intelligence agencies were overly focused on the Muslim community in detecting and preventing security risks.

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

As of Tuesday evening, 30 people were still being treated at the hospital, nine of them in critical condition, medical officials said.

- Press Association

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