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Erdogan says US cannot be considered 'civilized' amid row

Europe
21.10.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul (dpa) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked the United States on Saturday over indictments in Washington against his bodyguards who were involved in a brawl.

"I am sorry, I do not call this country civilized," Erdogan said in Istanbul, noting that he was in Washington on an official visit. 

The brawl with Kurdish demonstrators was a key factor in the recent decline in relations between the two countries.

This month, both took serious measures to restrict visa access to one another‘s citizens. The US was the first to announce the move, following the arrest of a second US consulate employee in Istanbul. 

Other lingering issues include the war in Syria and US support for a militia that includes Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State extremist group. Turkey dubs the Kurdish a militia terrorist organization. 

The US has been critical of a government crackdown in the wake of a failed military coup in Turkey, including the arrests of civil society activists and journalists. Turkey, meanwhile, wants the US to extradite a cleric it blames for the putsch attempt.

"The US is what is called the cradle of democracy. Something like this cannot be a democracy," Erdogan said.

Erdogan was directly critical of President Donald Trump‘s efforts to restrict immigration from several Muslim majority nations and the US leader‘s use of the phrase "Islamic terror."

 

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