0215 GMT April 22, 2019
“Remarks have been made by the Turkish President Erdogan that I consider highly offensive to Australians, and highly reckless in this very sensitive environment,” Morrison said on Wednesday after summoning Turkish Ambassador Korhan Karakoc and dismissing the “excuses” offered.
“They are testing us from 16,500 km away, from New Zealand, with the messages they are giving from there. This isn’t an individual act, this is organized,” he said as he attended a ceremony marking the 104th anniversary of Battle of Canakkale, also known as the Gallipoli Campaign, in the northwestern Turkish city of Canakkale.
He said the gunman, identified as 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, issued threats against Turkey and the president himself, and wanted to drive Turks from Turkey’s northwestern, European region. “We have been here for 1,000 years and will be here until the apocalypse, God willing,” Erdogan noted.
“You will not turn Istanbul into Constantinople,” he highlighted, referring to the city’s name under its Christian Byzantine rulers before it was conquered by Muslim Ottomans in 1453. “Your grandparents came here... and they returned in caskets. Have no doubt we will send you back like your grandfathers."
Victims laid to rest
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said it was hoped most victims would be formally identified by the end of the day.
"I want to assure people about how much we're doing in this area. We have over 120 people involved in this process … whose absolute focus is reuniting these victims with their loved ones,” he said.