Brownlee: New Zealand citizen detained in Turkey responsible for herself

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses supporters at a Labour Party event in Wellington New Zealand

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.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has slammed Australia for stripping citizenship from a 26-year-old woman who allegedly joined the Islamic State terrorist group.

"We believe Australia has abdicated its responsibilities in relation to this person and I have personally made that point to Prime Minister Morrison".

It comes after a woman and two children were reportedly picked up by Turkish officials for illegally entering that country from Syria. She was accompanied by two small children.

A dual New Zealand and Australian citizen has been arrested at the Syria-Turkey border.

Ardern said she had been travelling with two children. And that has been a known part of Australia's law for some time. "They did not act in good faith".

"It is wrong that New Zealand should shoulder the responsibility for a situation involving a woman who has not lived in New Zealand since she was six, has resided in Australia since that time, has her family in Australia and left for Syria from Australia on her Australian passport", Ardern said.

"The problem is more complicated because New Zealand is a very hard county to get into full stop right now, so trying to argue that anyone should be advanced through that waiting list is a no gamer".

"That is where their family reside, that is where their links reside, and that is the place they departed for Syria".

Ardern raised it directly with Morrison and asked to work together. She was also an Australian citizen - until recently.

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.

Australian Prime Minister Morrison in a news conference in Canberra said: "My job is Australia's interests".

"Australia's interest here is that we do not want to see terrorists, who've fought with terrorist organisations, enjoying privileges of citizenship that I think they forfeit the second they engage as an enemy of our country".

"The Australian behaviour is despicable on a couple of fronts, not the least of which is the diplomatic front with regards to us".

Ardern said that after Australia stripped her of her citizenship, she told Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that the decision was wrong. We will put our hands up when we need to own the situation, we expected the same of Australia, ' she said.

Islamic Women's Council's Danzeisen linked Australia's action over the 26-year-old with its 501 programme that has seen it strip its passports from New Zealand-born criminals and send them back over the Tasman. "But now there are two children involved so we have to resolve this issue with those two children in mind".

One press gallery journalist in attendance reportedly told AAP's New Zealand correspondent, Ben McKay: "That's the angriest I've ever seen her".



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