AKP deputy criticizes Erdoğan for playing New Zealand massacre video at rallies

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AKP deputy Mustafa Yeneroğlu

Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Mustafa Yeneroğlu has criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for airing at election rallies the footage of a massacre that took place in New Zealand on Friday and claimed the lives of 50 people.

Erdoğan has been playing blurred clips of the video at campaign rallies in several Turkish cities over the past few days to fire up his conservative Islamist base and attack his political opponents ahead of local elections scheduled for later this month.

His action, which already drew criticism on Monday from New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters, who accused Erdoğan of endangering his country’s citizens, has also attracted criticism from a party deputy.

“I don’t find it right for children to watch that footage. I don’t know who advised him [Erdoğan] to do it, but I don’t think it’s right. I think the majority of people agree with me,” said Yeneroğlu during an interview with German WDR Cologne radio. The alleged shooter, Brenton Tarrant, 28, an Australian citizen, live-streamed the assault on two mosques in Christchurch. More than 20 people were seriously injured in addition to the 50 who died in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a terrorist attack.

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