Following the Christchurch terror attack, Turkey's leader Erdogan has warned Australian visitors critical of Islam that they will return home in coffins like their grandfathers did after Gallipoli. Our government has just called in the Turkish ambassador for a 'please explain'.
If you, family or friends are planning a visit to Turkey, carefully consider your options.
Who is Turkey's Strongman Erdogan?
"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers..."
For reciting this poem in 1998 in a still secular Turkey, Erdogan was sentenced to 10 months in jail. He served four.
This conviction would have barred Erdogan from standing for political office under the secular constitution. However, the fundamentalist Islamic interests behind Erdogan strongarmed constitutional change, which allowed their leader to stand and become Prime Minister in 2003.
In 2007 Erdogan went on record with the following statement: "The term 'Moderate Islam” is ugly and offensive; there is no moderate Islam; Islam is Islam".
He went on to change the constitution again, so he could become de-facto president for life. In 2016 an attempt to overthrow the Erdogan regime was used to crack down heavily on anyone not in line with his fundamentalist views. Some insider sources suggested the coup was staged to give Erdogan a reason to kill, imprison and exile his perceived opponents.
During visits to Europe, Erdogan repeatedly called on the millions of Turks living in Europe to not assimilate or integrate into European/Western society.
In November 2017 Erdogan rebuffed the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who, after meeting with US President Trump, pledged to promote a "more moderate Islam" in his kingdom: Erdogan said: "Islam cannot be either 'moderate' or 'not moderate.' Islam can only be one thing,"
Erdogan's regime infamously turned a blind eye to jihadis travelling to and from the ISIL strongholds in neighbouring Syria, allowed oil transports from ISIL territory to access the markets and had his army attack anti-ISIL forces and civilians in Syria.
Following the Christchurch terror attack, Erdogan criticised the Anzacs for their role in the Gallipoli campaign and threatened to return anyone in coffins, who came to his country with anti-Islam sentiments.
More about Turkey's fundamentalist leader here:
Australians thinking of traveling to Turkey under the current regime should consider their options.