New Zealand mosque attack sign of rising Islamophobia, says Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has condemned the attacks on mosques in New Zealand that killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 on Friday, calling it the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.

At least one gunman attacked two mosques in the city of Christchurch during Friday prayers and broadcast live footage of the assault on Facebook on one mosque, after publishing a “manifesto” in which he denounced immigrants, calling them “invaders”, Reuters said

“On behalf of my country, I offer my condolences to the Islamic world and the people of New Zealand, who have been targeted by this deplorable act - the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia,” Erdoğan said on Twitter in English and Turkish.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry in a written statement condemned the attack and expressed deep sorrow for the loss of innocent lives. 

“We believe that the New Zealand Government will conduct the investigation of the attack, which seems to be motivated by Islamophobia, in the most effective manner and the perpetrators will be brought to justice as soon as possible,” the ministry said. 

The suspect in his manifesto described himself as a 28-year-old born in Australia and espoused far right and anti-immigrant ideology. The manifesto cited “white genocide”, a term typically used by racist groups to refer to immigration, Reuters said. 

The manifesto had a part titled "to turks”, in which the writer reportedly threatened to kill all Turks living on the European side of Turkey and elsewhere in Europe, Daily Sabah reported

"We are coming for Constantinople and we will destroy every mosque and minaret in the city," the text said. The attacker also said in his manifesto that Erdoğan should be killed during a visit to Europe, Daily Sabah reported.