Turkey’s falling out with Australia and New Zealand since the Christchurch terrorist attacks is a reminder of the distance that has opened up between Ankara and Western capitals. And that gap is only increasing. Whilst Turkey remains a member of NATO and is negotiating its accession to the European Union, its illiberal tendencies and its leader’s worldview make it appear increasingly ill-suited to both.
Whilst Western politicians were pressing social media companies to take down footage of the massacre at the Al-Noor mosque, the President of Turkey was to be found playing it on giant screens at election rallies. His message was abrupt – Muslims are under attack, and the West is and always has been responsible.
In linking Christchurch to the battle at Gallipoli, an event of enormous reverence to Australians and New Zealanders, Erdogan united Antipodean politicians in outrage. This year’s ANZAC day events on April 25 will now need careful shepherding. As a result, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned a few days ago that the country’s Foreign Minister would travel to Turkey to confront Erdogan’s comments.
Read the full article in CapX