WORLD

Erdoğan rebukes Netanyahu son for same statements as NZ attacker

"Watch out, the statements of the son of the person who is the leader of Israel and those of the New Zealand terrorist are the same. They are fed by the same source," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in Monday's speech, that he chastised Israeli PM Netanyahu's son for Istanbul remarks, at an event in Çanakkale in north-western Turkey.

Turkey's president drew comparisons between the Israeli premier's son and the New Zealand mosque attacker, who have referred to Istanbul by its historic name of Constantinople.

"Watch out, the statements of the son of the person who is the leader of Israel and those of the New Zealand terrorist are the same. They are fed by the same source," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday at an event in Çanakkale in north-western Turkey, without elaborating.

Erdoğan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were embroiled in a renewed war of words last week over the latter's comments that Israel is the nation-state of Jews alone.

In response to the leaders' spat, Netanyahu's son, Yair, tweeted Friday that Istanbul "is actually a city called Constantinople! The capital of the Byzantine empire and center of orthodox Christianity for more than a thousand years before Turkish occupation!"

Netanyahu said Monday: "Erdoğan seems to have forgotten that the Ottoman Empire has already passed from this world."

A "manifesto" by suspect Brenton Tarrant in the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people reportedly referred to Constantinople and the destruction of every mosque in what is now Istanbul.

Erdoğan said Monday that Turkey was being tested with an attack 16,000 kilometres away, in New Zealand. "This is not an individual incident. It is organized," he said.

Earlier in Christchurch itself, a high-level Turkish delegation that included Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Vice President Fuat Oktay visited the scene of the shooting.

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