Mar 18 2019

New Zealand lashes out at Turkey’s Erdoğan for airing massacre footage

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters has blasted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for using footage of a shooting rampage on Friday that killed 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand during a campaign rally, calling the move “totally unfair,” the Washington Post reported on Monday.

Pointing out that authorities in New Zealand and companies such as Facebook rushed to take down online footage of the attacks that were live-streamed, the Washington Posts said that Erdoğan chose to use clips from the gruesome attack to “fire up his conservative Islamist supporters and attack his political opponents ahead of local elections” set to take place on Mar. 31.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday and is set to appear in court on April 5.

Peters brought up his frustration with an official Turkish delegation, including Foreign Minister Melüt Çavuşoğlu, visiting New Zealand over the weekend, the Washington Post said.

“... Anything of that nature that misrepresents this country — given that this was a non-New Zealand citizen — imperils the future and safety of the New Zealand people and our people abroad, and it’s totally unfair,” Peters said he told Turkish officials.

The Turkish strongman was swift to condemn Friday’s attacks in New Zealand, taking to Twitter to say that  “deplorable act — the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.”

Erdoğan also took the opportunity to take a jab at the leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, likening him to far-right Australian Sen. Fraser Anning that blamed the massacre on illegal immigration.

“Someone is doing the same from Turkey,” Erdoğan said on Sunday. “Shame on you.”