Turkey’s Erdoğan shows footage of New Zealand mosque attack at election rally

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday during an election rally showed video footage from Friday’s mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand which left 49 dead, opposition Sözcü newspaper reported.

The Turkish president shared part of the footage the gunman live-streamed on the big screen during a mass rally for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ.

“How is that a killer, a murderer can move into action with his mind so filled with malice for Muslims and Turks?‘’said Erdoğan, who is on a tour across the country ahead of the March 31 local elections.

Erdoğan referred to the so-called manifesto of the Christchurch attacker, 28-year-old Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, which is said to contain specific references to Turkey and ridding the famed Hagia Sophia Museum of Istanbul of its minarets, among other references to Turkey and the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey’s strongman also blasted the leader of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, accusing him of fuelling hatred against the Muslim world.

“What difference is there between you and that Australian senator?‘’ Erdoğan asked, in an apparent reference to far-right Australian Sen.Fraser Anning who, following the attack, said the real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets was the immigration program, which had allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to the country in the first place.

“At this point you are with terrorists,‘’ Erdoğan said, referring to a speech by Kılıçdaroğlu on March 15, in which the secularist leader addressed Islamic extremism. ‘’He will pay for this on March 31,‘’ Erdoğan added.

The CHP reacted to Erdoğan sharing footage of the video on his campaign rally and his accusations levelled at Kılıçdaroğlu with CHP İstanbul deputy Gürsel Tekin calling on the country’s top television watchdog, the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK),  to prevent broadcast of rallies featuring such hate-speech.

Turkey's state-run news agency Anadolu on Saturday accused U.S. media outlets of failing to label Friday's mass shooting as an act of terrorism.

Stressing that U.S. media has not used the word "terror" or "Islamophobia" in relation to the attack, Anadolu specifically pointed to media outlets such as  the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and CNN.

Howard Eissenstat, a scholar specialising on modern Turkey, responded to the agency's claim on Twitter, saying it is incorrect, while sharing links from the abovementioned sources which refute the claim.

At least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured in a terror attack targeting two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand On Friday.

Tarrant, a right-wing extremist, filmed himself while on the shooting rampage that has stunned the world.