New Zealand slams Australia over woman detained in Turkey

Brunilde Fioravanti
Febbraio 16, 2021

Ardern said New Zealand was also engaging with Turkish authorities over the issue. Turkey claims the woman is an IS terrorist with New Zealand citizenship.

New Zealand is unable to simply follow Australia's lead and cancel the woman's citizenship and that of her children; that would make the woman stateless, something barred by worldwide law.

"Any fair minded person would consider this person an Australian, and that is my view too", Ardern said.

During that time, the Australian government revoked her citizenship and she is now legally only considered a New Zealand citizen.

"I was then informed in the following year that Australia had unilaterally revoked the citizenship of the individual".

"You can imagine my response".

Scott Morrison told reporters on Tuesday that his job is to "put Australia's national security first". 'They did not act in good faith, ' she said. "And I think Australians would agree with that", he said.

He said he was scheduled to speak with Ardern today but added that legislation passed in parliament automatically cancels the citizenship of a dual citizen accused of being engaged in terrorist activities. And that happens automatically.

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was aware of the information.

Mr Morrison added he was due to speak with Ms Ardern later on Tuesday.

"There is still a lot more unknown about this case and where it sits and where it may go to next".

The trans-Tasman relationship has also been strained by Australia's practice of deporting criminals who hold Kiwi passports to New Zealand, even if they hold no established links to the country.

New Zealanders believe that practice contributes to crime at home.

Moreso, it shows strain at a personal level between Ms Ardern and Mr Morrison.

"(The woman) has resided in Australia since that time, has her family in Australia and left for Syria from Australia on her Australian passport".

Ardern said her government has an obligation to its citizens regardless of the circumstances or offences committed, and that decisions would be driven by the fact that two small children "who did not make the choice of being born in a war zone" were involved.

Ms Ardern said the woman was now detained in Turkey with the two young children and said New Zealand was now trying to offer consular support and "resolve the situation". "If the shoe were on the other foot we would take responsibility, that would be the right thing to do and I ask Australia to do the same".

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