Exploiting dead Muslims for politics
Hurriyet Daily News
The recent murder of 50 Muslims by an Australian white supremacist in New Zealand should not be used to spread hatred, said Bora Bayraktar. Yet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is exploiting the massacre, claiming at election rallies that Islam is under attack and playing footage that the killer recorded as he gunned down Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch. Erdogan has even talked of how Aussies and Kiwis fought Turks at the World War I Battle of Gallipoli, as if modern-day terrorism were an extension of that century-old war. But the true message of Gallipoli is one of reconciliation. The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, was an Ottoman commander in that battle, yet he dedicated a monument to the fallen on both sides. “There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours,” its plaque reads. “After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well.” Ataturk “extended the hand of friendship” to his former enemies. Given the extraordinary compassion of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her Muslim citizens, shouldn’t Turkey reach out in friendship to New Zealand in its time of tragedy, rather than condemning it?