Turkish, Australian top diplomats speak by phone
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne held a phone call on March 20 after the latter summoned Turkey’s ambassador to Canberra amid condemnation over President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s comments on Anzac troops who fought in World War I in the wake of the New Zealand attack on March 15.
State-run Anadolu Agency reported that the ministers spoke on the phone, but gave no details of the conversation.
The move followed Australia’s decision to summon Turkey’s ambassador to Canberra, Korhan Karakoç, to express disturbance over Erdoğan’s remarks on the Anzacs. Erdoğan, in an election rally, had said those who threaten Turkey would be sent home in coffins as the Anzacs were during World War I.
“Your grandparents came here... and they returned in caskets,” he said at a pre-election rally on March 19. “Have no doubt we will send you back like your grandfathers.”
According to the Australian media, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was deeply offended by comments from Erdoğan. He reportedly demands that Erdoğan withdraws the comment on the Anzacs.
The Australian media reported that officials are reviewing travel advice for Turkey, where thousands of Australians would be planning to go next month for Anzac Day services.