New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern blames Australia for evading responsibility by “unilaterally” denouncing the citizenship of a woman arrested in Turkey for alleged links to the Islamic State (IS).
The 26-year-old woman is also a New Zealand national.
Turkish authorities announced that they had caught three New Zealanders on Monday, including a woman believed to be a member of ISIS, attempting to enter the country illegally through Syria. The woman had both New Zealand and Australian citizenships, but the Australian government has unilaterally revoked her citizenship, Ardern said in her statement.
“We believe Australia has relinquished its responsibilities concerning this person and I have personally informed Prime Minister Morrison as well,” said the Prime Minister, referring to Australia’s head of government.
Ardern says the woman left for Australia at the age of 6 and has not lived in New Zealand. From there she travelled to Syria on an Australian passport. “Any honest person would consider this person an Australian, and that’s my opinion,” stressed the New Zealand Prime Minister.
Turkish authorities said the woman was identified as an IS terrorist. Ardern said she was travelling with two children. “The well-being of the children must also come first in this situation. These children were born in a conflict zone through no fault of their own. We will consult with the Turkish authorities. As children are involved, their well-being will be a top priority in our response.” “