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POLITICS > PM Erdoğan mocks Paul Auster, calls him ‘ignorant’

ANKARA - Hurriyet Daily News

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Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan derided American writer Paul Auster as “ignorant” and said the fact his criticism of Turkey was shared by the main opposition and some newspapers was “grave.”

“Author Paul Auster gave an interview to a Turkish newspaper recently. He said he will not come to Turkey as he finds it anti-democratic and because of arrested journalists. Oh! We were much in need of you! What if you come or not?” Erdoğan said during a party meeting yesterday.

Criticizing Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), and the newspapers for giving credit to Auster’s statements, Erdoğan asked, “Will Turkey lose altitude if you don’t come?”

Recalling that Auster joined a book fair in 2010 in Israel where he described Israel as a “secular, democratic country,” Erdoğan slammed the American writer for being unaware of the fact Israel was a non-secular state and had killed thousands of innocent people in the Gaza Strip. “I am sure Kılıçdaroğlu and Auster will join together for this year’s book fair in Israel,” he added.

Erdoğan dismissed mounting international criticism over press freedom in Turkey as a “smear campaign” and insisted the judiciary acted independently. He maintained that some of the journalists currently in jail were involved in violent activities and were linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

February/01/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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Tomas Giovanni

2/10/2012 8:36:15 PM

Hakan, hopefully you are correct concerning the economy and since Turkey is tied to the world's ecconomy, once the other nations fall, the requirement for Turkey's work force will begin to cease.

Hakan Afacan

2/5/2012 3:25:15 AM

To all who commented, please understand under prime minister Tayip erdogan Turkish economy hasn't been better than ever, So hate him all you like but as long as Turkey's growth continues Mr Erdogan is here to stay!

Ali Karp

2/4/2012 8:37:35 AM

Erdogan the incredulous. He wins hands down when it comes to jailed journalists and intellectuals.

omer unal

2/2/2012 8:10:26 PM

Get this man RTE out of my country please.

2/2/2012 5:51:24 PM

I think I made a mistake in my last post. "Chain" should be "change". Sorry.

2/2/2012 5:12:27 PM

I think I made a mistake in my last post. "Chain" should be "change". Sorry.

Dweller -

2/2/2012 4:22:00 PM

Were the boot on the other foot and Paul Auster claimimng Mr. Erdogan was ignorant I suspect Mr Erdogan would have threatened to sue. Take a leaf out of Erdogans book Paul and sue him!

Köksüz Kosmopolit

2/2/2012 1:12:49 PM

@Anthony Hogan: "I think Paul Auster should chain his mind and come to Turkey" -- although it was probably just a typo, "chaining one's mind" would be excellent advice for anybody who wants to live happily in the AKP's ideal Turkey.

Aron Goldfinger

2/2/2012 11:22:19 AM

I live in Israel. We love the turkish people. The turkish PM has a personal problem with Israel and its existence. However, Israel like turkey will last after Erdogan term. Why does he say Israel bombed Gaza with Chemical weapon? He is out of mind!!!

Garcia Afekova

2/2/2012 10:53:35 AM

Why is it that with this Prime Minister, a criticism regarding the imprisonment and oppression of journalists is translated into yet another attack by Erdogan on Israel and the Jews? How is Israel relevant here?
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