Kiwis safe, Turkish embassy says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shown video of the Christchurch mosque shootings at...
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shown video of the Christchurch mosque shootings at recent rallies. Photo: Reuters
The Turkish Embassy in Wellington has moved to quash fears after the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said New Zealanders who went to Turkey with anti-Muslim views would be sent home in coffins.

The Turkish Embassy in Wellington yesterday released a statement denying Turkey was hostile to New Zealanders and Australians, and offered reassurance it was safe to travel there for Anzac commemorations .

Referring to New Zealanders as "brothers and sisters", it said it would continue to work to deepen the special relationship the two countries had, befitting their historic ties.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters has just returned from Turkey, where he met Mr Erdogan in Istanbul on Saturday for what he called "substantial" talks.

Despite this, a blurred video of the shooting of 50 people at mosques in Christchurch was subsequently played at a rally in support of the Turkish president.

The screening happened two hours after Mr Peters said he understood such footage was no longer being shown.

Mr Peters told reporters he did not ask Mr Erdogan to stop showing the video of the shooting because he thought its screening at election rallies had stopped.

"I did not ask that question because I felt that I did not have to ask it, because they are not doing that anymore."

Earlier, in a speech during a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation in Istanbul (OIC), Mr Erdogan thanked the people and authorities of New Zealand for their sensitivity and determination against the attack.

He praised the reaction and empathy shown by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Mr Erdogan, who was seeking to drum up support for his party in local elections, said earlier in the week that Turkey would make the attacker pay if New Zealand did not.

The Turkish president has threatened to send back "in caskets" anyone who tried to take the battle to Istanbul.

He has also called on New Zealand to restore the death penalty in the wake of the terrorist atrocity.

Mr Peters told an emergency session of the OIC that the man accused of the shooting would be held accountable.

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