New Zealand mosque attacker visited Turkey in 2016
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
"The terrorist had entered Turkey in 2016. I believe he spent about 43 days in the country. Now police are trying to find out what he was doing in this country but we can tell from the manifesto that he was very interested in President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, there could have been an assassination plot maybe," said Yusuf Erim.
"Our initial assessment is that the perpetrator of today's heinous terror attack in Christchurch, travelled to Turkey multiple times and spent an extended period of time in the country," Erim said during Friday's transmission on TRT World.
"We also know that he went to a lot of early Christian artifacts and sites in Turkey," Erim said, adding that in a manifesto he is thought to have posted online he mentions Hagia Sophia.
The Hagia Sophia is currently a landmark mosque-turned-museum in Istanbul, previously a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral until 1453 when the Ottoman Empire conquered Istanbul.