Turkish people, religious authorities and NGO’s condemned the heinous terrorist attack in New Zealand’s Christchurch targeting the faithful in two mosques during Friday prayers.

Protests were held following Friday prayers throughout Turkey. The Fatih Mosque in Istanbul also held a funeral prayer in absence Friday for the 49 people who lost their lives in the terror attack.

Similar protests and prayers were also held in Batman, Bingöl, Elazığ, Bursa, Eskişehir, Balıkesir, Kütahya, Bilecik, Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep, Malatya, Mardin, Şırnak, Kahramanmaraş, Osmaniye, Hatay and Diyarbakır provinces.

Ali Erbaş, head of the Presidency of Religious Affairs, defined Islamophobia as a “serious crime against humanity” and condemned violent attacks targeting mosques which are “venues symbolizing peace for all humans.”

The Turkish Jewish community said on Twitter that special prayers will be held this Sabbath (Saturday) in synagogues administered by the Turkish Chief Rabbinate Foundation for those killed and injured in the attack.

At least 49 people were killed in the mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers. One man was arrested and charged with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack. Police also defused explosive devices in a car. Two other armed suspects were being held in custody. Police said they were trying to determine how they might be involved.

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