On Tuesday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said during a campaign rally that Turkey would make sure the suspect in the New Zealand mosque shootings pays if New Zealand does not—and on Wednesday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her country will not let those comments go unadressed, Reuters reports. Foreign Minister Winston Peters is traveling to Istanbul this week for a meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, the AP reports, and Ardern told reporters, "Our deputy prime minister will be confronting those comments in Turkey. He is going there to set the record straight, face-to-face." Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also promised Australia will address Erdogan's comments.
An Australian suspected of being a white supremacist killed 50 people in the shootings during Friday prayers, and Erdogan—who is trying to rally support for his Islamist-rooted AK Party in local elections coming up at the end of the month—shared video footage of the shootings that the suspect streamed on Facebook while making his comments. He also suggested Australia and New Zealand sent troops to fight in World War I's Gallipoli campaign due to their opposition to Islam, and said that any Australians or New Zealanders who came to Turkey with anti-Muslim sentiments would be sent back to their homeland in coffins "like their grandfathers" were during the campaign. An official says the comments were taken out of context. (Read more New Zealand stories.)