It seems that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again severed ties with reality, as on Monday, he compared Yair Netanyahu to the self-described white supremacist who gunned down 50 Muslim worshipers at a New Zealand mosque.
“Watch out, the statements of the son of the person who is the leader of Israel and those of the New Zealand terrorist are the same. They are fed by the same source,” Erdogan said during a speech in the northwestern city of Çanakkale, according to Turkey’s ATV News.
Earlier, Erdogan had described a mass shooting which killed 50 people at two New Zealand mosques as part of a wider attack on Turkey and threatened to send back “in caskets” anyone who tried to take the battle to Istanbul.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was attending a ceremony marking the 104th anniversary of Battle of Canakkale, which to the WWI Allies was known as the Gallipoli Campaign, in Canakkale, Turkey. Incidentally, many of the Allied servicemen killed in the campaign were ANZAC troops.
Erdogan has invoked the New Zealand attack as evidence of global anti-Muslim sentiment.
“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, without elaborating.
At weekend election rallies Erdogan showed video footage of the shootings, which the gunman had broadcast on Facebook, earning a rebuke from New Zealand’s foreign minister who said it could endanger New Zealanders abroad.
Erdogan also displayed extracts from a “manifesto” posted online by the attacker and later taken down.
He has said the gunman issued threats against Turkey and 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 told a rally on Monday commemorating the 1915 Gallipoli campaign.
“You will not turn Istanbul into Constantinople,” he added, referring to the city’s name under its Christian Byzantine founders before it was conquered by Muslim Ottomans in 1453.
“Your grandparents came here… and they returned in caskets,” he said. “Have no doubt we will send you back like your grandfathers.”