Turkey in a Stir Over Old Biden Remarks Backing Erdogan’s Ouster

Follow us@middleeast for more news on the region.

An old video of Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden calling for the removal of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has set off a furor in Turkey while earning U.S. President Donald Trump a shout-out.

In a Dec. 16 meeting with New York Times editors, Biden called Erdogan an “autocrat” and advocated that the U.S. “embolden” his opponents to defeat him at the ballot box.

“What I think we should be doing is taking a very different approach to him now, making it clear that we support opposition leadership,” Biden said. The video, which resurfaced on Saturday and has since become the hot topic in Turkey, checked out against atranscript of the meeting the newspaper published.

A backlash soon followed.

“No one can attack the will of the nation and the democracy, and question the legitimacy of Turkey’s president,” Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, fumed on Twitter. “We believe that the current U.S. administration would find these undiplomatic remarks unseemly of a presidential candidate of our NATO ally.”

@fahrettinaltun

US Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s remarks (made in December but reported by the media today) reflect the games being played over Turkey and their interventionist attitudes. These remarks are not in line with democracy and the nature of Turkish-American relations.7:56 PM · Aug 15, 2020

5K

1.6K people are Tweeting about this




Ties between the U.S. and Turkey have been strained for years over multiple issues, including Ankara’s purchase of Russian missile defense systems and U.S. support of a Syrian Kurdish militia that Turkey says has designs on its territory. Tensions have been eased by positive chemistry between Erdogan and Trump, a mitigating factor that could evaporate if Biden wins the November presidential election.

It’s not clear who initially dredged up the months-old footage, which didn’t create a stir when Biden’s remarks were originally published. But even the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party was in an uproar.

“Our democracy and endeavor for freedom do not need any imperialist favors,” Faik Oztrak, the spokesman for Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party, said on Twitter. “Independence is our character,”

The video is “the biggest support that any U.S. government has ever given to Mr. Erdogan’s government since 2002,” tweeted Deniz Ulke Aribogan, a lecturer on political science and international relations at Uskudar University in Istanbul.

— With assistance by Selcan Hacaoglu

Source: Read Full Article