Erdoğan slams France over Quran proposal
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blasted as “ignorant” a manifesto recently published by prominent French intellectuals and politicians, which suggested that some Quranic verses incite hatred and violence and should be removed.
“Hey, West! You keep attacking our holy book. You should know we won’t attack your sacred books, but we will take you down,” Erdoğan said in a parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on May 8.
His comments came after 300 French intellectuals and politicians including former President Nicolas Sarkozy and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls signed a manifesto published in Le Parisien on April 21.
The manifesto stated that a number of Quranic verses incite violence and hatred toward Jews, Christians and nonbelievers.
Erdoğan slammed “Western countries” for being “Islamophobic, Turcophobic, xenophobic and racist.”
“Who do you think you are to attack our sacred book? I wonder if they have ever read their own Holy Bible or Torah. If they have, they would probably also demand to ban the Bible,” he added.
“We will not attack your sacred books with the same language no matter how much you do all these things, because we are not as ignorant as you. We have a stance and a character ... No matter what people say, we will continue to shout the reality,” Erdoğan said.
Parliamentary majority for constitutional change
As Turkey approaches the critical presidential and parliamentary elections to be held on June 24 after which the system change stipulated by the constitutional amendment will fully go into effect, Erdoğan has demanded votes from the public to gain the majority in parliament.
Stating that the AKP would continue its service in a more efficient manner under the new system, he stressed “being the majority in parliament is a must.”
“Until the new system will fully be implemented, there will be a need for many legislative changes and constitutional changes along with the presidential decrees. You haven’t left us alone since today. Now, you can give us the strength that enables us to make constitutional changes,” he said.
According to the constitutional changes, the number of the lawmakers has rose from 550 to 600, and at least 400 votes will be required to make constitutional changes.
“With the National Alliance, our aim is not only to become the majority in parliament but to have the number necessary for reforms,” said Erdoğan.
CHP presidential candidate ‘puppet’
Erdoğan also criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce as being an “ineffective figure” for the presidential post.
“We do not know where to look in the election campaign, should we look at the CHP leader or at that wretch,” he said.
“There is an original and also a puppet,” in criticism of the CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of not being presented as the presidential candidate.
Erdoğan also criticized İnce for proposing to publicize the Presidential Complex and downsizing presidential costs by moving to Çankaya Palace as a symbolic gesture.
“Is that a policy? How small of a policy is that to propose to move to another place?” he said.
He called them “populist policies,” criticizing the opposition for not having real “projects” to propose for the future.
“They have one project and that is to return Turkey to the old system. First and foremost, that attitude is a disrespect to the will of the nation that was presented on April 16,” he said.
“The only time we will take a step back is when our nation tells us ‘that’s it,’” he said.
His expression “that’s it” (tamam) has become a topic on social media, as opposition groups have used the term to express their criticism of the ruling party.
“Being a poor fellow is far better than being a shady person,” said İnce in response to Erdoğan’s comments.