Auster and Kılıçdaroğlu should go for a picnic, says Erdoğan
AP PhotoTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rekindled the debate with U.S. author Paul Auster today, saying the writer should get together with main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for a picnic "overlooking Gaza."
“Obviously the writer had been misled about Turkey," Erdoğan said during a party meeting. "The CHP [Republican People’s Party] head picked up on it. We didn't start this debate, he did.”
Erdoğan repeated that Auster visited Israel in 2010 and “took photos with Israeli statesmen.”
"He says there are no imprisoned journalists in Israel," Erdoğan said. "Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu just repeated what he said. I hope he gained somebody's favor by that pro-Israel talk.”
Erdoğan further criticized Kılıçdaroğlu's personal invitation for Auster to visit Turkey.
"If he does come to Turkey, they should go to Israel together afterwards. Otherwise that visit will be incomplete. They should have a picnic on a hill overlooking Gaza. They should repeat that there are no jailed journalists in Israel,” Erdoğan said.
“There are Palestinian writers in exile," he added, after which he recited a poem by the famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.