Defying New Zealand Government, Erdogan Continues to Screen Video of Mosques Massacre

Hours after New Zealand's Foreign Minister 'confronts' Turkish President in Ankara, Erdogan screens a blurred video of the shootings in a local elections rally

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses an emergency session of 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation's executive committee meeting, in Istanbul, March 22, 2019.
Emrah Gurel,AP

Blurred video of last week's shooting of 50 people at mosques in New Zealand was shown again at a rally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, two hours after New Zealand's foreign minister said he understood such footage was no longer being shown. 

Foreign Minister Winston Peters arrived in Istanbul and met Erdogan earlier on Friday. He later told reporters he did not ask Erdogan to stop showing at election rallies the video of the shooting in Christchurch because he understood its screening had stopped.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday Foreign Minister Peters will travel to Turkey to “confront” comments made by Erdogan on the killing of at least 50 people at mosques in Christchurch.

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Erdogan - who is seeking to drum up support for his Islamist-rooted AK Party in March 31 local elections - said Turkey would make the suspected attacker pay if New Zealand did not.

At least one gunman killed 50 people and wounded more than 20 during last Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques in the country's worst ever mass shooting. 

A gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants.

The video footage widely circulated on social media, apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded, showed him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside. 

Facebook Inc said it had removed 1.5 million videos globally of the attack in the first 24 hours after the deadly shootings.

"In the first 24 hours we removed 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, of which over 1.2 million were blocked at upload...," Facebook said in a tweet late Saturday.