New Zealand Massacre Suspect Visited Santorini, Crete

Αssociated Press

This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the state-run Turkish broadcaster TRT World and made available on Saturday, March 16, 2019, shows the arrival in March 2016 at Istanbul's Ataturk International airport in Turkey of who it says is Brenton Tarrant, the suspect in New Zealand mosque attacks. (TRT World via AP)

The man charged with killing 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand - and who had written anti-Turkish bombast in his manifesto - stayed on the Greek islands of Crete and Santorini when he came through Greece twice in 2016.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who has been arraigned for the deadly shootings also visited Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia and Hungary between 2016-2018 as he apparently studied battles between Christians and the Ottoman empire, such as the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

“Concerning the 29-year-old perpetrator of the terrorist attack in New Zealand on March 15, 2019, it was found that he had entered our country twice in 2016 on transit flights (Nov. 29, 2016 and Dec. 10, 2016). Moreover, in the same year (Mar. 20, 2016) he entered our country on a flight from Istanbul and stayed for a few days in Heraklion, Crete and Santorini,” police said.

Greek police were also searching about any phone calls and purchases he made while in Greece, said Kathimerini.

On Tarrant’s rifle was written, in capitals, the Greek word ΤΟΥΡΚΟΦΑΓΟΣ (“Turk-eater” or, metaphorically, “Turk-slayer”), a fact remarked on by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It appears clear that Tarrant had it out for the Turks since in his manifesto and a post to Twitter just before the attack, he spoke of his dream to see a wholly white Europe. He makes a specific reference to the Turks, who he threatens with annihilation.

He portrayed Erdogan as  “the leader of one of the most ancient enemies of our people and the leader of the largest, Islamic, group of people in Europe.”

In his manifesto, he threatened Turkey. “You can live peacefully in your own lands and you won’t be bothered by anyone. Those lands must be to the east of the Bosporus. However, if you continue to live on European lands, anywhere west of the Bosporus, we will kill you and we will forcefully expel you from our lands. We are coming for Constantinople and we will destroy every mosque and every minaret in Constantinople. Hagia Sophia will be liberated from the minarets and Constantinople will once again, and rightfully, belong to the Christians. Leave, while you still have the chance.”

In another passage he wrote, “Until Hagia Sophia is liberated from the minarets, the men of Europe will be men in name only,” referring to the ancient Orthodox church in Constantinople now surrounded by minarets.


(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)