ANKARA, Turkey - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday urged New Zealand to bring justice to the victims of Friday's twin mosque attacks and hold the accused accountable.
Condemning the attack, Erdogan took to Twitter saying, "I strongly condemn the terror attack against the Al Noor Mosque in New Zealand and Muslim worshippers. May Allah have mercy on the victims and grant a speedy recovery to the wounded."
Describing the incident as a "massacre", Anadolu news agency quoted Erdogan lashing out at one of the attackers, Brenton Tarrant, who prior to the attacks emailed an 87-page manifesto to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Office, where he had allegedly mentioned about his earlier visit to Istanbul apart from propagating anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim ideas.
"He came to Istanbul for three days once and 40 days for the second time. What are his connections? We will find out," Erdogan said in response to the manfisto.
"He talked nonsense by saying 'we will kill you if you cross west of the Strait, we will come to Istanbul and destroy all the mosques and minarets' in his manifesto that he left. [...] Where is New Zealand and where is Turkey?" he asked.
"How can a murderer on the other end of world act with such ill-will against Muslims and Turks," Erdogan said, apparently referring to the New Zealand attacker.
Erdogan further noted that the attacker adorned his gun with names of all enemies of Turks and Muslims since the second Siege of Vienne (1683), including tyrants of the Crusades.
In one of the deadliest terror attacks in New Zealand, multiple gunmen carried out indiscriminate shootings at two mosques in Christchurch during the Friday prayers, leaving 49 people dead and at least 48 wounded, besides giving a scare to the Bangladesh cricket team which had a narrow escape.
Using automatic weapons, the gunmen, four of who were initially taken into custody, launched a "well-planned" attack on the mosques when devotees had assembled for the weekly prayers.
Meanwhile, 39 people are still being treated for wounds, out of which 11 people still remain critically injured at Christchurch Hospital and one child has been transferred to Auckland's Starship Hospital.
The primary suspect, Brenton Tarrant, appeared before the court on Saturday on murder charges connected with Friday's terror attacks in Christchurch. He was remanded in custody without plea until April 5. (ANI)