Turkish president Erdogan shows Christchurch shooting video again
Blurred video of last week's shooting of 50 people at mosques in New Zealand has been shown again at a rally of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, two hours after New Zealand's foreign minister said he understood such footage was no longer being shown.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters arrived in Istanbul and met Erdogan earlier on Friday.
Peters later told reporters he did not ask Erdogan to stop showing the video of the shooting in Christchurch at election rallies because he understood its screening had stopped.
"No, I did not ask that question because I felt that I did not have to ask it, because they are not doing that anymore," Peters told reporters.
The Turkish president has sparked outrage abroad by screening excerpts of video filmed by the mosque gunman at campaign rallies to denounce Islamophobia, but also to shore up Islamic and nationalist sentiments before the March 31 local elections.
Despite widespread criticism, Erdogan has continued showing the blurred-out video with clear audio of automatic gunfire to thousands of people at rallies and broadcast live on Turkish televisions.
New Zealand has been trying to prevent the use of the video and Peters had been expected to take up the issue at Friday's emergency session of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's executive committee.
Peters did tell the committee the gunman will spend the rest of his life in isolation in prison, and called for solidarity to eradicate "hate-filled ideologies".
Peters said "no punishment can match the depravity of his crime but the families of the fallen will have justice". He screened photographs of New Zealanders mourning the victims.
During a speech earlier this week Erdogan said: "If New Zealand fails to hold the attacker accountable, one way or another we will hold him to account".
At the meeting on Friday Erdogan thanked New Zealand for its "sensitivity and determined stance" and praised New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, saying her "reaction, the empathy displayed and her solidarity with Muslims" should serve as an example to all leaders.
Peters said the government was working to ensure Muslims' safety with an increased police presence, measures on social media and new gun control laws that already went into effect.
He said Erdogan had reassured him that New Zealand citizens visiting Turkey would be welcomed as before and that the initial "misinterpretations" were all cleared up.
Erdogan slammed populist politicians who he said encouraged attacks on Muslims and refugees.
"Politicians who pave themselves the road to power by alienating Muslims and creating enemies out of refugees, must pull themselves together," he said.
He argued Muslims weren't the only ones affected by "rising cultural racism".
The Turkish leader also called for measures to combat and outlaw Islamophobia.
"We have to show our reaction in a strong way so that similar pains don't occur again and mosques are not turned into a bloodbath," he said.
© AAP 2019