Turkey's president shows footage of New Zealand mosque attacks at rallies

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

In a series of nationalist rants in recent days, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the West of plotting against his country and sought to present the deadly attacks against two mosques in New Zealand last week as part of a wider global conspiracy against Muslims and his country, Kathimerini reports.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday issued a statement saying that the Greek reaction to a recent rant by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was "inconceivable and odd due to its content and timing".

Erdogan is seeking to rouse his conservative base as the country prepares for local elections on March 31.

Ms Hassan said the police are looking to provide as much support to the people affected by the tragedy as they can.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said Monday he told his Turkish counterpart the video doesn't represent New Zealand.

Around Christchurch, New Zealand and the world there have been vigils, prayers, memorials and messages of solidarity. He said Turkish authorities were investigating his visits and his contacts.

Erdogan swiftly condemned the attacks in New Zealand on March 15, writing on Twitter that day that the massacre was a "deplorable act - the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia".

"We are very clear that the terrorist attack in Christchurch, committed by a person who is not a New Zealander, is utterly contrary to our core beliefs", he said.

"Anything of that nature that misrepresents this country, given that this was a non-New Zealand citizen, imperils the future and safety of New Zealand's people and our people overseas".

He called on New Zealand to amend its laws to ensure that the attacker is severely punished.

"We are for a free and open society ... we did not start or bring about this disaster, and they clearly understood that", he said.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has played parts of the alleged gunman's video as part of his rallies.

Erdogan showed a video including extracts purportedly from the suspect's online manifesto and semi-blurred footage of the shooting to the crowd via a large screen.

Mr Erdogan is seen as a strongman authoritarian as president of Turkey, cracking down on press freedom and jailing opponents.

Erdogan said he would "uncover the connection soon", between Tarrant's visit to Turkey in 2016 and his threats to Turks.

More than 8700 Turkish soldiers were killed defending their country in the months-long battle.



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