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Erdogan took Christchurch shooting to campaign trail

Erdogan’s campaign uses brutal images at election rallies of the New Zealand terrorist’s footage and hateful rhetoric, deepening the rift within Turkish society and distancing Turkey further from the West.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a rally for the upcoming local elections in Istanbul, Turkey, February 16, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RC13AEBB4970

The Christchurch attack in New Zealand that killed 50 people has provided fresh ammunition to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s campaign trail to lash out at Islamophobia days before the March 31 local elections, which Erdogan portrays as “a matter of survival." But it has also stirred tensions between Turkey and a grieving New Zealand that is trying to handle the situation sensibly.

The attacker — an Australian citizen — livestreamed the attacks with a head-mounted camera. Social media companies have been working diligently to remove the footage of the terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan played the videos over and over during his televised rallies.

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