Erdogan Slams ‘Jewish’ Media for Criticism of His Rule

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday stepped up his attacks on foreign media a day ahead of legislative elections, telling the Guardian to "know your limits" and lamenting that "Jewish capital" was behind the New York Times.

Erdogan has during the campaign leading up to Sunday's polls repeatedly criticized foreign media, amid growing concerns over an erosion of freedom of expression in Turkey under his rule.

In one of its final pre-election rallies in the eastern province of Ardahan, Erdogan took offense at an article in the Guardian critical of his
rule, including an editorial titled "Growing autocracy threatens a crucial country." 

"Do you know what a British newspaper says about this election?" Erdogan told the crowd. "It says the not fully-westernized, poor Muslims are not being allowed to manage their own country!"

"Who are you? You are impertinent!" he told the paper. "Know your limits. Since when were you given such authority?"

Erdogan also launched a new attack on the New York Times, which has written there are "dark clouds" over Turkey under his rule.

He said the newspaper had been campaigning against Turkey's leaders going back to Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, who ruled the Ottoman Empire during the final phase of its decline.

"Now, they are spitting out the same hatred on me… It's clear who their patrons are," he fired. "There is Jewish capital behind it, unfortunately."

The New York Times had earlier this week hit back at Erdogan's attacks with a tweet satirizing his vast new presidential palace in Ankara.

"Which leader has a 1,150-room palace more than 30x the size of the White House?" the paper had tweeted.

Erdogan has repeatedly lobbed insults at Netanyahu and at Israel, with several officials claiming in January that Netanyahu attending a solidarity rally against Islamist terrorism was "hypocritical." 

Those comments were relatively mild for Erdogan, who last year compared Israelis to Hitler

Those statements echoed an openly anti-Semitic address Erdogan made back in 1998, during his stint as mayor of Istanbul, in which he declared that "the Jews have begun to crush the Muslims in Palestine, in the name of Zionism. Today, the image of the Jews is no different than that of the Nazis."

AFP contributed to this report. 


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