Turkish parties criticize Biden's remarks on Turkey
Only the Turkish nation – not someone from the U.S. or other country – can decide to change its government and president, Turkey’s top diplomat said on Aug. 16, referring to U.S. presidential front-runner Joe Biden's controversial remarks on Turkey.
"We strongly reject such impositions," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told Anadolu Agency following his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Dominican Republic, adding that Biden's remarks that he could support opposition to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the 2023 elections are “ignorant” and fail to recognize the Turkish nation.
He also said it was "strange" that a person who has been nominated to lead the U.S. made such "ignorant comments" on Turkey, and that he doesn't know the truth about his own country.
In a video clip that went viral, presumptive U.S. Democratic nominee Biden said: "We can support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan. Not by a coup, not by a coup, but by the electoral process."
Referring to Biden’s "not by a coup" remark, Çavuşoğlu said he understood this to mean: "We tried a coup in the past, it didn't happen. So now let's change tactics and methods."
Biden’s remarks – recorded last December but first reported on Aug. 15 – drew condemnation from the entire political spectrum in Turkey, including both the government and opposition.
Çavuşoğlu stressed that Turkish elections are held democratically and transparently, adding that Turkey now has power both in the field and at the negotiating table.
Biden is currently ahead in most U.S. polls, but the Nov. 3 presidential elections are still months away.
Opposition leader criticizes US Biden's remarks
Turkey's main opposition leader on Aug. 16 criticized Biden's remarks as well.
The Republican People's Party (CHP) strives for Turkey's independence and sovereignty and does not accept even a shadow of any imperial power, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters.
Meanwhile, the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli also slammed at Biden and said: “It has been proven who is behind the coups, interference, crises, terrorist acts, and anti-democracy efforts.”
"It is a mean plan to aim to overthrow our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and emphasize that it should be done not by a coup but by supporting the opposition through elections,” Bahçeli added in a written statement.
Just as the MHP condemns Biden, Biden’s Democratic Party should do the same, said Bahçeli.