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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s president has sparked a diplomatic spat with New Zealand and Australia, comparing a key World War I campaign to the more recent Christchurch mosque shootings as targeting Islam.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been campaigning for local elections due at the end of the month, suggested this week that Australia and New Zealand had sent troops to fight in WWI’s Gallipoli campaign due to their opposition to Islam.

Erdogan said any Australians and New Zealanders traveling to Turkey with anti-Muslim sentiments would be sent back in coffins “like their grandfathers” were in the Gallipoli campaign.

Australia was aghast at Erdogan’s comments, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison summoning Turkey’s ambassador Wednesday and demanding Erdogan take the comments back, saying “all options are on the table” if he did not.

Print Headline: Turk leader cites Gallipoli, raises ire

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