Sanders calls on US to follow New Zealand gun ban

            By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has called for the U.S. to follow New Zealand's lead in banning military-style assault rifles. </p>  <p>On Wednesday, New Zealand enacted a ban on all such weapons following a recent terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques that left at least 50 dead. </p>  <p>&quot;This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand's lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States,&quot; Sanders, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination, wrote on Twitter Wednesday, referring to the powerful National Rifle Association lobbying group. </p>  <p>Sanders, along with many Democrats, has long called for the U.S. to overhaul its firearms laws following a series of mass shootings that have repeatedly devastated the nation. </p>  <p>But U.S. lawmakers have so far been reticent to re-enact an assault weapons ban despite the mounting death toll from attacks in which that type of weapon is commonly used, in part due to opposition from the NRA. </p>  <p>The U.S. had banned the manufacture of assault weapons for civilian use in 1994, but the law lapsed 10 years later when it was not extended. </p>  <p>Following its own horrific mass shooting, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her cabinet agreed to overhaul the country’s gun laws, adding her government will ban &quot;every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack&quot;.</p>  <p>At least 50 Muslims were killed and as many injured when Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, entered the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch and shot indiscriminately at those inside.</p>  <p>Tarrant has been charged for the massacre and is being held at a maximum-security prison in Auckland. </p>  <p>Among the victims were four children under the age of 18. Other children are still being treated at local hospitals for injuries they sustained during the attack.

UN calls New Zealand terror attack 'Islamophobic'

By Bayram Altug

GENEVA (AA) – UN human rights experts on Thursday described two mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand as “Islamophobic”.

Tendayi Achiume, UN special rapporteur on racism, and Michal Balcerzak, chair of the working group of experts on people of African descent, released a joint statement on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

“Less than a week ago, a white supremacist committed an Islamophobic terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 people and injuring many others,” it read.

“This tragic event reminds us that racism, xenophobia and religious hatred are deadly […],” said the experts, noting that racial violence and discrimination stem from ethno-nationalist populism and supremacist ideologies.

The experts urged states to take their role seriously and to adopt the policies which will protect vulnerable populations and ensure racial equality.

They also urged people who engage in racial privilege, to eradicate racism, xenophobia and related intolerance.

* Gozde Bayar from Ankara contributed this story

‘Scarves in Solidarity’ in NZ urges support for Muslims

             </p>                 <p>By Sena Guler and Meryem Goktas</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - A New Zealander spearheaded an event Thursday to show solidarity with the victims of terror attacks that claimed at least 50 lives last week in Christchurch.</p>    <p>Raewyn Rasch started the &quot;Scarves in Solidarity&quot;  campaign, encouraging women to wear a scarf around head to support Muslim women of Christchurch.</p>    <p>“This is a personal response to the Christchurch terror attacks and a simple gesture on Friday 22 March to support our Muslim community,” Rasch said on the event page on Facebook.</p>    <p>On Wednesday, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also encouraged women in the country to wear headscarves when attending two moments of silence during a memorial service to be held on Friday as a gesture of respect for the victims.</p>    <p>International attention has been drawn to New Zealand since last week’s terror attacks, bringing the rising Islamophobia in Western countries to focus.</p>    <p>Friday marks the first week since the terrorist attacks, in which at least 50 Muslims were killed when a terrorist opened fire on worshipers during weekly Friday prayers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.</p>    <p>The terrorist streamed the massacre for 17 minutes on his social media platform.</p>    <p>Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, is being charged for the massacre.

Ailesi, terör saldırısında yaralanan Boztaş'ın ayağa kalkmasını bekliyor

CHRISTCHURCH (AA) – RECEP ŞAKAR / TEVFİK DURUL – Yeni Zelanda'nın güneyinde bulunan Christchurch kentindeki Nur Camisi'ne yapılan terör saldırısında yaralanan Türk vatandaşı Mustafa Boztaş'ın ailesi, canını saniyelerle kurtaran evlatlarının bir an önce sağlığına kavuşmasını bekliyor.

Terör saldırısından saniyelerle kurtulan Boztaş'ın ailesi, evlatlarının vücuduna isabet eden iki kurşun sonrası sağlık durumuna ilişkin AA muhabirine açıklamalarda bulundu.

Baba Ramazan Boztaş, "Bir terörist, geçen cuma bu camide insanları sinek öldürür gibi öldürüyor. Herkesi öldürüyor. Yaralananlara dönüp tekrar sıkıyor. Benim oğlan camdan dışarı çıkıyor. İki saniye içinde canını kurtarıyor. Elhamdülillah, Allah'ım onu bize bağışladı." ifadesini kullandı.

Oğluna isabet eden iki kurşundan birinin onu ayağından yaraladığını dile getiren Boztaş, "Vücudunda parçalanmış. Kurşun parçası halen içeride. Kurşun ciğere değmiş. Gülünce, konuşunca ya da nefes alınca kurşun parçaları batıyor." şeklinde konuştu.

  • "Aklına geldikçe ağlıyor"

Boztaş, oğlunun psikolojik durumuna ilişkin, "Bir çocuk yanında ölmüş. Kurtarmaya çalışmış, aklına gelince ağlıyor." dedi. Oğlunun bir an önce sağlığına kavuşmasını umduklarını belirten Boztaş, yaralı Boztaş'ın hastaneye kaldırıldıktan sonra geçirdiği ameliyatın ardından ikinci bir ameliyat olması gerektiği bilgisini paylaştı.

Yeni Zelanda halkının kendilerine gösterdiği yakın ilgi ve dayanışmadan ötürü minnettar olduklarının altını çizen Anne Raziye Boztaş ise "Hastaneye geldiğimiz zaman doktorlar kapıda sarılıp ağladılar." diye konuştu.

Anne Boztaş, "Dünyanın dört bir yanından insanların (desteği) buraya yağmur gibi yağdı. Cumhurbaşkanımın (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) oğlumu arayarak, 'Oğlum nasılsın, geçmiş olsun' dediği için onun ellerinden öpüyorum. Allah devletimizden, milletimizden razı olsun." ifadesini kullandı.

Oğlunun telefonla arayarak, terör saldırısını haber verdiğini dile getiren Boztaş, şöyle devam etti:

"İlk duyduğumuzda şaka yapıyor sandık. 20 dakika önce aramıştı bizi. 'Anne, baba, ben cuma namazına gideceğim. Cumadan sonra Allah'ın izniyle yanınıza geleceğim.' demişti. Biz Dunedin şehrinde yaşıyoruz. Christchurch'e beş saat araba mesafesi var. 15-20 dakika sonra tekrar arayınca 'Anne, baba, gidiyorum, bacağımdan yaralandım, şehit var burada, terörist bastı camiyi' deyince aklımız başımızdan gitti."

  • "5 saatlik yol bana 40 saat gibi geldi"

Anne Boztaş, o anda uçak bileti bulamadıklarını, kara yoluyla Christchurch'e geldiklerini söyleyerek, "Beş saat, bana 30-40 saat gibi geldi. Videolarını attılar yolda. Kanlı videolarını görünce ciğerlerim parçalandı, ağladım yollarda. Allah'a şükür oğlumu bana bağışladı." dedi.

Cumhurbaşkanı Yardımcısı Fuat Oktay ve Dışişleri Bakanı Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu'nun oğullarını kaldığı hastanede ziyaret ettiği için teşekkürlerini sunan Boztaş, "Devletimiz bizi burada dünyanın bir ucunda sayıp, sevip ayağımıza geldiği için sonsuz hürmetlerimi sunuyorum." şeklinde konuştu.

Yaralı Mustafa Boztaş'ın kız kardeşi Güllü Boztaş, "İlk duyduğumuz an yıkıldık. Üzüntüden ne yapacağımızı şaşırdık. Burada (terör saldırısı) olacağını hiç beklemiyorduk. Allah hepimize sabırlar versin." ifadesini kullandı.

Yeni Zelanda'nın Christchurch kentinde, 15 Mart'ta cuma namazı sırasında 10 dakika arayla iki camiye düzenlenen terör saldırılarında 50 kişi yaşamını yitirmişti.

'Erdogan words on Turkish history taken out of context'

             By Dilara Hamit</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - Remarks by Turkey’s president about battles fought on Turkish soil during World War I have unfortunately been taken out of context, said a top aide to the president on Wednesday.</p>  <p>In his remarks on Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “was responding to the so-called ‘manifesto’ of the terrorist who killed 50 innocent Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand” last Friday, Fahrettin Altun, Turkey's presidential communications director, said on Twitter. </p>  <p>“Turks have always been the most welcoming and gracious hosts to their Anzac visitors,” he added, referring to troops from Australia and New Zealand who fought in the Battle of Canakkale (Gallipoli) in 1915-1916. </p>  <p>Many Anzac troops and their descendants make pilgrimages to Turkey on Anzac Day, April 25, to mark the soldiers’ sacrifices and the friendship between nations that developed in the decades since.</p>  <p>Altun said the terrorist’s manifesto not only targeted Erdogan himself but also the Turkish people and the Turkish state, referring to anti-Turkish statements in the manifesto.</p>  <p>As Erdogan “was giving the speech at the Canakkale (Gallipoli) commemoration, he framed his remarks in a historical context of attacks against Turkey, past and present,&quot; he added.</p>  <p>On March 15, at least 50 people were killed when a terrorist opened fire on worshippers during weekly Friday prayers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.</p>  <p>The massacre was livestreamed on social media, and accompanied by the release of a racist and Islamophobic manifesto that also attacked Turkey and its president.</p>  <p>Australian-born terrorist Brenton Tarrant, 28, is facing charges over the massacre.</p>  <p>On Monday, during ceremonies marking the 104th anniversary of Canakkale Naval Victory Day, Erdogan said: &quot;They [those attacking us] are still testing the patience and resolve of Turkey even though a century has gone by.&quot; </p>  <p>&quot;Your ancestors came and saw us here,&quot; he said. &quot;Then some left on their feet, some in coffins.</p>  <p>&quot;If you come here with same intentions [to invade our land], we will be waiting and have no doubt we will see you off like your ancestors,&quot; said Erdogan, stressing Turkey’s resolve to always protect its sovereignty.</p>  <p><p><br>

Turkey warns West against ignoring Islamophobia

             <p>By Yesim Sert Karaaslan and Ilkay Guder</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkey warned the West on Wednesday about ignoring Islamophobia, saying doing so could fuel further deadly attacks.</p>  <p>&quot;Ignoring Islamophobia can lay the groundwork for similar terror attacks” as last week’s New Zealand mosque attacks, said Turkey’s National Security Council in a statement, adding that those attacks showed hostility towards Turkey, referring to anti-Turkish messages in the terrorist's manifesto.</p>  <p>In a regular meeting, the council also firmly condemned the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch and the killing of &quot;innocent people for their beliefs.&quot;</p>  <p>At least 50 Muslims were killed and as many injured when Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, entered the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch and targeted those inside with gunfire, including four children under age 18 shot dead in cold blood.</p>  <p>The council also said that Turkey will continue to fight all terrorist groups with unwavering determination and will never allow the formation of a terrorist corridor along the country’s southern borders.</p>  <p>It added that migration from Syria cannot he halted without clearing terror groups from Manbij, Syria and east of the Euphrates and ensuring stability there.</p>  <p>Turkey has promised to launch an operation against terrorist PYD/YPG forces in Syria, east of the Euphrates.</p>  <p>In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children. The PYD/YPG is its Syrian branch.</p>  <p>Separately, the council stated that it reviewed security measures to ensure peaceful local elections on March 31.</p>  <p>Turkey has taken all security measures for the upcoming local elections, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said earlier on Tuesday.</p>  <p>&quot;We are sure that the election will take place in a secure environment without any problems,&quot; he said.</p>  <p>A total of 12 political parties are competing in the polls.</p>      

Terrorist spared no one in New Zealand attack

            By Vakkas Dogantekin</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - The white supremacist terrorist who carried out last week’s attacks on two New Zealand mosques did not even spare women and children as he opened fire on worshippers during Friday prayers.</p>  <p>At least 50 Muslims were killed and as many injured when Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, entered the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch and shot indiscriminately at those inside.<br> <br> Tarrant has been charged over the massacre and is being held at a maximum-security prison in Auckland with no access to print or online media.</p>  <p>Four children under the age of 18 were shot dead in cold blood and other children are still being treated at nearby hospitals.</p>  <p><br>
  • Mucad Ibrahim

Three-year-old Mucad Ibrahim, born in New Zealand to a Somali family, is so far the youngest child confirmed to have been killed at Al Noor mosque.

His father and brother survived the attack by playing dead. But Mucad, who was too young to understand what was going on, stood up and ran around.

He was shot and died in his father’s arms.

“He was a Muslim-born Kiwi who was full of energy, love and happiness,” said his family in a statement.

Kiwi is the nickname used internationally for people from New Zealand.

“He is remembered in our community as a young boy who emanated nothing but the representation of God’s love, peace and mercy.”

“Knowing that New Zealand and the whole world stands behind our boy reassures us that violence and racism are unwelcome in our world,” they said.

His brother Abdi's words on Facebook still resonate.

"Will miss you dearly, brother” he said.

– Abdullah Dirie

Four-year-old Abdullah, the youngest of the family, was with four siblings at the mosque who all survived the attack.

His family had fled war-torn Somalia in the mid-1990s as refugees and settled in New Zealand.

His uncle, Abdulrahman Hashi, a preacher at a mosque in the U.S. city of Minneapolis, told the New Zealand Herald that the terror attack was a problem of extremism.

“Some people think the Muslims in their country are part of that, but these are innocent people," he said.

– Sayyad Milne

“I’ve lost my little boy. He just turned 14,” Sayyad Milne’s father, John, told The New Zealand Herald, crying throughout the interview.

Sayyad, a year 10 student who loved to play soccer, was one of two Cashmere High School students killed in the terror attack along with year 12 student Hamza Mustafa.

“He proved himself to be not only a truly outstanding goalkeeper but a great friend and colleague, a real team player with a fabulous attitude and a warm and friendly personality,” St. Albans Shirley Football Club said in a statement on Facebook.

“Sayyad was one of our own, and we will always remember him.”

– Hamza Mustafa

Sixteen-year-old Hamza Mustafa instinctively called his mother when the shooting began at Al Noor mosque.

“He said ‘Mum, there’s someone come into the mosque and he’s shooting us,’” said his mother, Salwa, according to the Stuff news website.

“I called ‘Hamza, Hamza,’ and I can hear his little voice, and after that, it was quiet.”

She stayed on the phone for 22 minutes, hoping he would respond.

“His phone was on, but I couldn’t talk to him. After that, someone picked up the phone and told me ‘your son can’t breathe, I think he’s dead’.

“Our lives have completely changed,” Salwa said after losing both her husband and “the most wonderful boy" at Christchurch Hospital, where her other son, 13-year-old Zaid, is recovering from two gunshot wounds.

When asked about the white supremacist terrorist who carried out the massacre, she said: “God will punish him.”

New Zealand: Syrian father, son first to be buried

             By Riyaz ul Khaliq <br> <br> ANKARA (AA) – A Syrian father and son killed in last week’s New Zealand terror attack on a mosque were the first to be laid to rest at a mass funeral on Wednesday.<br> <br> Members of the Muslim community in Christchurch, the site of the attacks, came together to bury the victims of what New Zealand’s prime minister called the “darkest day” in the country’s history. <br> <br> The bodies of the father and son were carried by members of the Muslim community to the cemetery, a spokesman for the Syrian Solidarity New Zealand (SSNz) group told Anadolu Agency. <br>  </p>  <p>Khalid Mustafa, 45, and Hamza Mustafa, 15, both Syrian refugees, were buried in the Muslim section of Memorial Park Cemetery in the Christchurch suburbs. <br> <br> Khalid’s younger son, Zaid, was badly injured in the attack but survived. <br> <br> The father and son were among 42 worshippers shot dead inside the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, among a total of 50 killed. <br> <br> SSNz spokesman Ali Akil said that 13-year-old Zaid attended the funeral in a wheelchair. <br> <br> SSNz works among Syrians living New Zealand. <br> <br> &quot;I shouldn't be standing in front of you. I should be lying beside you,” said a wailing Zaid Mustafa in front of his father's grave. <br> <br> He underwent a six-hour operation for the injuries he sustained in the attack. 

— From Syria to New Zealand

The Mustafa family fled war-torn Syria and arrived in New Zealand in 2018. Survivors of the last week's deadly attack also include Khalid’s wife and a 10-year-old daughter.

The brothers studied at Cashmere High School in the city.

Besides the Syrian father and son, four more burials took place today. A mass funeral is expected in a few days.

At least 50 Muslims were killed in cold blood and as many injured last Friday when a terrorist opened fire on worshipers during weekly prayers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, in a sign of rising Islamophobia worldwide.

The terrorist — identified as Brenton Harrison Tarrant — streamed the massacre for 17 minutes on social media.

The 28-year-old Australian is in custody of New Zealand police and is being charged for the massacre. He will be presented before a court on April 6.

“I cannot tell you how gutting it is to know that a family came here for safety and refuge [but died in the attack] and they should have been safe here," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a press conference in Christchurch on Wednesday evening.

Ardern today paid a second visit to the attack site.

The New Zealand government, praised across the globe for its handling of the aftermath of the attack, is preparing for a mass commemoration of the incident this Friday.

“To acknowledge this, there will be two minutes of silence on Friday,” Ardern said, adding that the Muslim call to prayer will also be broadcast nationally over television and radio.

N. Zealand to hold memorial service for terror victims

             By Munira Abdelmenan Awel</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - New Zealand will hold memorial service on Friday for victims of last week's terror attacks on Muslim worshipers, country’s premier said on Wednesday.</p>  <p>Paying a second visit to Christchurch city after March 15 deadly terror attacks targeting two mosques, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that two-minutes silence will be held as a gesture of respect for the victims of shooting at Al Noor and Linwood mosques.</p>  <p>According to the local daily New Zealand Herald, two-minutes silence will be observed over the usual one minute “because of the magnitude of the tragedy”.</p>  <p>“While it will be in Christchurch we want to involve the rest of New Zealand. There is a desire to show support to the Muslim community as they return to mosques, particularly on Friday,” the state broadcaster Radio NZ quoted Ardern as saying.</p>  <p>The local media will stream the memorial service live, Radio NZ and TVNZ will also play Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, it noted.

  • Muslims seeks justice

Ardern stressed the need to wrap all the support around the Muslim community in New Zealand, saying: “What I've heard from the Muslim community [is] the rejection of extremism, violence, and hate, no matter where it comes from.”

She also said that the Muslim community is demonstrating utter compassion for one another and expressing gratitude for the support of New Zealanders.

“Their response has been overwhelming that what they seek is justice … but overwhelming they keep reflecting back to me the sense of support they have had from the New Zealand community,” she added.

Ardern also encouraged women in the country to wear headscarves when attending the moment of silence to show their support for the Muslim community.

“New Zealand was not free of white supremacist groups and ultra-right wing extremist groups”, she underlined, adding that regulations for gun control will be discussed at the parliament this week.

– 'All of us need to present a united front'

New Zealand’s premier, who called Friday's terror attack "a global issue", urged “a united front" on it.

"This is not just an issue for New Zealand, the fact that social media platforms have been used to spread violence [and] material that incites violence. All of us need to present a united front," she said.

At least 50 Muslims were killed on March 15 when a terrorist opened fire on worshipers during weekly Friday prayers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The gunman streamed the massacre for 17 minutes on his social media platform.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, is being charged for the massacre.

CHP heyetinin Yeni Zelanda ziyareti

TBMM (AA) – CHP Genel Başkan Yardımcısı Ünal Çeviköz, Yeni Zelanda'nın Christchurch kentinde iki camiye yapılan terör saldırısını şiddetle kınadıklarını belirterek, "Dileriz dünya, bu terör saldırısından gereken dersleri çıkarır ve benzer katliamlar, acılar bir daha yaşanmaz." ifadelerini kullandı.

CHP TBMM Grubundan yapılan açıklamada, Genel Başkan Yardımcısı Çeviköz, Grup Başkanvekili Engin Altay ve Konya Milletvekili Abdüllatif Şener'den oluşan CHP heyetinin, terör saldırısı nedeniyle Yeni Zelanda'ya gerçekleştirdikleri ziyarete ilişkin bilgiler paylaşıldı.

Buna göre CHP heyeti, Christchurch'te ilk olarak insanlık dışı terör katliamının yaşandığı Al Noor Camisi ile Linwood Camisi’ni ziyaret etti ve kurbanlar anısına çiçek bıraktı.

Daha sonra saldırıda yaralanan Türk vatandaşı Mustafa Boztaş ve ailesine tedavi gördüğü hastanede ziyarette bulunan heyettekilerden Grup Başkanvekili Altay, Boztaş'a CHP Genel Başkanı Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu'nun selamlarını ve geçmiş olsun dileklerini iletti. Ziyarete Avustralya ve Yeni Zelanda Müftülük Heyetleri de eşlik etti.

CHP'li heyet ayrıca yoğun bakımda tedavisi süren Türk vatandaşı Zekeriya Tuyan'ın eşi Hamime Hanım ile hastanedeki yaralı Afgan vatandaşlarına ziyarette bulundu.

CHP Genel Başkan Yardımcısı Ünal Çeviköz, hastanede yaptığı konuşmada şunları kaydetti:

"Yeni Zelanda'nın Christchurch kentinde iki camiye yapılan terör saldırısını şiddetle kınıyoruz. Saldırıda çok sayıda ölü ve yaralıların olmasından derin üzüntü duyuyoruz. CHP Heyeti olarak tüm Yeni Zelanda halkına başsağlığı diliyoruz. Hayatını kaybedenler için taziyelerimizi sunuyoruz. Hastanede değişik ülkelerden çok sayıda yaralının tedavisi sürüyor. Vatandaşlarımızın da Afgan ve Bangladeşli kardeşlerimizin de acılarını paylaşıyoruz. Uluslar arasında bir fark yok. Hepsine acil şifalar diliyoruz. Dileriz dünya, bu terör saldırısından gereken dersleri çıkarır ve benzer katliamlar, acılar bir daha yaşanmaz."

Hastane ziyaretine eşlik eden Yeni Zelanda Müftülük heyeti temsilcileri de ziyaretleri için CHP heyetine teşekkürlerini iletti.

Yeni Zelanda Dışişleri Bakanlığı Kriz Merkezi Koordinatörü Büyükelçi Caroline Bilkey’den de ayrıntılı brifing alan heyet, Yeni Zelanda İslam Dernekleri Federasyonunu ve açtıkları taziye evini ziyaret ederek taziyelerini iletti, yaralılara acil şifalar diledi.