New Zealand says mosque gunman faces life in prison in isolation

ISTANBUL (AP) — New Zealand's deputy prime minister said the gunman accused of killing 50 people in two mosques in the South Pacific nation would spend the rest of his life in isolation in prison and called for solidarity to eradicate "hate-filled ideologies."

Winston Peters was speaking at an emergency session of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation's executive committee called by Turkey to combat prejudice against Muslims in the wake of the attack.

Peters' attendance comes amid controversy sparked by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who, at election campaign rallies, has been screening video clips of the attack, despite efforts by New Zealand to prevent the video's spread.

Erdogan also drew Australia's ire for comments suggesting that Australians and New Zealanders with anti-Muslim sentiments would be sent back in coffins like their ancestors who fought against Turks in the World War I Battle of Gallipoli.

Peters took a conciliatory tone on Friday, welcoming comments by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said at a news conference at the end of the OIC meeting that Australians and New Zealanders visiting Turkey would be still greeted warmly at Gallipoli remembrance ceremonies next month.

"We are returning home to New Zealand with a grateful assurance that our people will come here to commemorate Anzac and will be as welcome as they always were," Peters said.

Peters said, however, that he didn't discuss Erdogan's use of the footage with Turkey's foreign minister or president though it was widely expected that he'd raise the issue. Erdogan later on Friday again showed an excerpt of the video at an election rally in the central city of Konya.

Related: New Zealand mosque shootings

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Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
A body lies on the footpath outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.(AP Photo/Mark Baker)
A man reacts as he speaks on a mobile phone outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.(AP Photo/Mark Baker)
People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Many people were killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, a witness said. Police have not yet described the scale of the shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Police attempt to clear people from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Many people were killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, a witness said. Police have not yet described the scale of the shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors.(AP Photo/Mark Baker)
A man talks on his mobile phone across the road from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. A witness says a number of people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch; police urge people to stay indoors. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Police attempt to move people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers on what the prime minister called "one of New Zealand's darkest days," as authorities detained four people and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned attack. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Police stand outside a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed during shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Police stand outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers, as New Zealand police warned people to stay indoors as they tried to determine if more than one gunman was involved. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
A police officer escorts a man away from a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers, as New Zealand police warned people to stay indoors as they tried to determine if more than one gunman was involved. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Police keep watch at a park across the road from a a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers, as New Zealand police warned people to stay indoors as they tried to determine if more than one gunman was involved. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 15: Members of the public react in front of the Masjd Al Noor Mosque as they fear for their relatives on March 15, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. 49 people have been confirmed dead and more than 20 are injured following attacks at two mosques in Christchurch. Four people are in custody following shootings at Al Noor mosque on Dean's Road and the Linwood Masjid in Christchurch. Mosques across New Zealand have been closed and police are urging people not to attend Friday prayers as a safety precaution. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 15: A floral tribute is seen on Linwood Avenue near the Linwood Masjid on March 15, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. 49 people have been confirmed dead and more than 20 are injured following attacks at two mosques in Christchurch. Four people are in custody following shootings at Al Noor mosque on Dean's Road and the Linwood Masjid in Christchurch. Mosques across New Zealand have been closed and police are urging people not to attend Friday prayers as a safety precaution. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 15: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on March 15, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. One person is in custody and police are searching for another gunmen following several shootings at mosques in Christchurch. Police have not confirmed the number of casualties or fatalities. All schools and businesses are in lock down as police continue to search for other gunmen. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 15: Police Commissioner Mike Bush speaks to media during a press conference at Royal Society Te Aparangi on March 15, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. One person is in custody and police are searching for another gunmen following several shootings at mosques in Christchurch. Police have not confirmed the number of casualties or fatalities. All schools and businesses are in lock down as police continue to search for other gunmen. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
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"I did not see any sound, peaceful purposes in raising it," Peters said, adding that they had received "very assuring information" from the Turkish presidency.

Speaking at the emergency session, Peters told representatives of Muslim nations: "no punishment can match the depravity of his crime but the families of the fallen will have justice."

He also screened moving photographs of New Zealanders mourning the victims.  

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, was arrested and charged with murder in the New Zealand mosque attacks. Tarrant livestreamed the attack and released a manifesto describing his white supremacist views and how he planned the shootings.

The OIC, in a statement, urged all countries to refrain from statements or policies that associate Islam with terror and extremism. It also demanded that March 15 — the day of the Christchurch attack — be marked as the International Day of Solidarity Against Islamophobia.

Addressing the OIC meeting Friday, Erdogan praised New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, saying her "reaction, the empathy displayed and her solidarity with Muslims" should serve as an example to all leaders.

Erdogan slammed populist politicians who he said encouraged attacks on Muslims and refugees.

"Politicans who pave themselves the road to power by alienating Muslims and creating enemies out of refugees, must pull themselves together," he said.

He also called for neo-Nazi groups to be considered terrorists.

"If we don't show our reaction in a strong manner, the neo-Nazi virus will engulf the body even more," Erdogan said. "If we don't raise our voices, Western governments will not disrupt their comfort."  

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Suzan Fraser reported from Ankara.

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