Turkish Prez Showing Christchurch Footage at Rallies, NZ Fears He Is Endangering Kiwis

Christchurch
ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey’s Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been inflaming his supporters by showing footage of the suspected far-right terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, at political rallies — a move which potentially “imperils the future and safety of the New Zealand people and our people abroad”, according to the Pacific country’s foreign minister.

Erdoğan told supporters that the Christchurch suspect, who killed fifty people in mass shootings at two mosques in the city, had “targeted Turkey and me” in his manifesto, sections of which were featured during a montage of the attack which he showed at a rally in aid of upcoming elections.

The manifesto had alluded to the conquest of Constantinople — now Istanbul — by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, and the subsequent colonisation of the city and the surrounding territory in East Thrace, which comprises modern Turkey’s only remaining foothold in continental Europe today.

“What does it say? That we shouldn’t go west of the Bosporus, meaning [stay out of] Europe. Otherwise, he would come to Istanbul, kill us all, drive us out of our land,” the Turkish strongman railed.

The New Zealand government, which has done its utmost to expunge the Christchurch terrorist’s manifesto and livestream of the attack from the Internet, threatening criminal penalties for sharing or even downloading it, was extremely perturbed by Erdoğan’s decision to politically weaponise them, believing that he is putting New Zealanders in danger.

“Anything of that nature that misrepresents this country — given that [the suspect] 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,” complained foreign minister Winston Peters, who said he had made his objections to Erdoğan’s behaviour clear to Turkish officials.

Peters’s view was echoed by Turkish opposition spokesman Faik Oztrak, who asked: “Is it worth showing this bloody massacre in order to gain a few more votes?”

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