Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes full political use of NZ shooting before polls
Ankara, March 19: As local elections approach in Turkey, the ruling regime has decided to cash in on the sentiments hurt by the recent shootings in two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand, killing 50 people. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has even taken to showing parts of a video of the mayhem taken by the right-wing extremist to convey his message on Islamophobia.
Erdogan, who returned to power last year in an election brought ahead by almost a year and half, used an edited version of the video on more than one occasion last weekend to draw support from his Islamist followers ahead of the local elections scheduled on March 31 and attacked his Opposition as weak.
The attacker in Christchurch - 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant - posted a lengthy manifesto before the killings and said, among various other things, that Muslims should be driven out of Turkey that lies west of the Bosporus.
Erdogan also used the 'Islamophobia' platform by taking on the Opposition by invoking the controversial words made by Australian senator Fraser Anning who blamed Muslim immigrants for the attacks.
The video was blurred but automatic gunfire was being heard as it was shown to people at rallies and aired on Turkish television.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters on Monday, March 18, told his Turkish counterpart that the video doesn't represent his country.