Kiwis assured it's safe to travel to Turkey despite inflammatory comments by its president

New Zealanders and Australians shouldn't be put off visiting Turkey, despite its president making inflammatory remarks sparked by the shooting deaths of 50 Muslims in Christchurch last week.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters is set to arrive in Istanbul shortly to confront President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said any Australians or New Zealanders who came to Turkey with anti-Muslim sentiments would be sent back in a coffin "like your grandfathers were" during the WWI Gallipoli campaign.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said thousands of New Zealanders and Australians had made the journey to Gallipoli on Anzac Day to remember those who died in battle, but she rejected suggestions the president's comments would change the long term relationship between NZ and Turkey.

BBC Correspondent Mark Lowen told TVNZ1's Breakfast from Turkey today there was no need for people to be put off visiting the nation, especially those intending to go over for Anzac Day.

"This is a country which is safe, I've lived here four-and-a-half years and, really, it's the safest place I've ever lived actually in many ways," Mr Lowen said. "The petty crime is very low, it's got a strong tradition of being hospitable to tourists. 

"Of course there is political tension here at the moment but I think there will be a lot of concern from those involved in tourism, especially those involved in Anzac Day tourism around Gallipoli."

The comments from the president may have appeared like a potential attack on Australia and New Zealand, but Mr Lowen believed that was "very, very unlikely to happen".

President Erdogan has also back-peddled somewhat after receiving backlash from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mr Peters, Mr Lowen said.

"They are very hopeful tourists won't be put off visiting what is still a very fantastic country."

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BBC correspondent Mark Lowen tells TVNZ1’s Breakfast Turkey is safe and threats to Kiwis are “very, very unlikely”. Source: Breakfast