The suspected perpetrator of the deadly attack on two mosques in New Zealand visited Turkey twice in the past, with an investigation now underway into his contacts in the country, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Saturday, Sputnik reported.
"The perpetrator of the terrorist attack in New Zealand visited Turkey twice. The first time he spent here three days, while the second time he was here for 40 days. An investigation is underway to establish his ties in Turkey. However, we want New Zealand to bring him to justice as well and remand him in custody. Forty-nine people were killed as a result of the terrorist attack. This is a mass murder, and the criminal must be punished," Erdogan said at a rally in the northwestern city of Tekirdag.
Earlier, local media reported that the suspected shooter visited Turkey twice back in 2016.
The violent shooting in two mosques rocked New Zealand's eastern city of Christchurch on Friday, leaving 49 killed and dozens injured. New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the shooting a terrorist act, saying it was the country's "darkest day."
A total of three people were detained in the wake of the attack, including the 28-year-old suspected shooter, Australian national Brenton Harrison Tarrant.