New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters has slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for airing during election rallies the footage of a massacre that took place in Christchurch on Friday, saying that the dissemination of the video could endanger his country’s citizens.
Erdoğan has played blurred clips of the video at campaign rallies in several Turkish cities over the past few days to fire up his conservative Islamist supporters and attack his political opponents ahead of local elections scheduled for later this month.
The alleged shooter, Brenton Tarrant, 28, an Australian citizen, live-streamed the assault on two mosques in Christchurch that claimed the lives of 50 people. More than 20 were seriously injured in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a terrorist attack.
Peters, speaking to reporters Monday after a weekly cabinet meeting, said he had raised Erdoğan’s use of the footage with an official Turkish delegation visiting New Zealand.
Peters said he told Turkish officials “that anything of that nature that misrepresents this country — given that this 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.”