Erdogan Shows NZ Attack Video in Weekend Rallies

FILE - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, and Devlet Bahceli, left, the leader of opposition Nationalist Movement Party, MHP, reacts with supporters of MHP and ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, during a joint rally in Aegean city of Smyrna, Sunday, March 17, 2019. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Turkey’s president has shown parts of a video taken by the attacker who killed 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand to comment on what he called rising Islamophobia.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed the clips during campaign rallies for March 31 local elections. The video, which was blurred but had clear sounds of automatic gunfire, was shown to thousands of people at the rallies and was aired live on Turkish television.

Erdogan used the video to comment on attacks on Islam and rising Islamophobia. He referred to a manifesto by the suspected attacker, Brenton Tarrant, in which he threatened Turks and vowed to make Istanbul “Christian owned once more.”

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said Monday he told his Turkish counterpart the video doesn’t represent New Zealand.

A mourner lights a candle during a vigil to commemorate victims of Friday’s shooting, outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, March 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)