New Zealand attack shows growing hostility to Islam: Erdoğan
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 15 condemned the deadly attack on two mosques in New Zealand, saying it illustrated the growing hostility towards Islam “idly” watched by the world, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
“With this attack, hostility towards Islam, that the world has been idly watching and even encouraging for some time, has gone beyond individual harassment to reach the level of mass killing,” Erdogan said at the funeral of a former Turkish minister.
Turkish media reported the so-called manifesto of the attacker contained specific references to Turkey and ridding the famed Hagia Sophia in Istanbul of its minarets.
Now a museum, the building was once a church before being turned into a mosque during the Ottoman empire. Also, a photo of the rifle the attacker used shows “Vienna 1683” written on it, which marks the date of the second siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Empire.
Also on the rifles, crawled in English and several Eastern European languages were the names of numerous historical military figures- many of them Europeans involved in fighting the Ottoman forces in the 15th and 16th centuries.
“It is clear that the understanding represented by the killer that also targets our country, our people and myself, has started to take over Western societies like cancer.”
The Turkish leader, who often criticizes Islamophobic attitudes, called for the West to act to prevent similar attacks.
“If measures are not taken right away, news of other disasters will follow this one. I am calling on the world, in particular, the West, to take quick measures,” he said.