President Erdoğan says EU cannot give 'democracy lesson' to Turkey
ANKARA – Agence France-Presse
President Erdoğan continued his recent fiery rhetoric at a rally in the Central Anatolian province of Konya on Dec. 17. AA PhotoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched a new broadside against the European Union on Dec. 17 over its condemnation of recent raids on the local media, saying Brussels has no right to give Ankara a "democracy lesson".
"They say they will give a democracy lesson to Turkey. Take the trouble to come here, so that Turkey can give you a lesson in democracy," Erdoğan said at a rally in the Central Anatolian city of Konya.
He told Brussels to "look in the mirror," particularly in its dealings with Egypt and Syria, vowing that Turkey would never be the EU's "doorman."
The weekend detention of journalists and television staff linked to U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen earned Turkey severe criticism from the European Union, which denounced the raids as "incompatible with the freedom of the media."
But Erdoğan on Dec. 15 lashed out at the rebuke and told European leaders to "mind their own business," in a diatribe that raised new doubts about Turkey's stalled bid to join the bloc.
On Dec. 17, the Turkish president further stepped up his rhetoric, on the 10th anniversary of the EU "greenlight" for the start of formal membership negotiations with Ankara.
"They've been dragging feet over the last decade ... Sorry, but we are not the EU's doorman," Erdoğan said.
"If they let us in, they do. If they don't, they don't. You may speak against Turkey as much as you like. We will draw our own route," he said.
"Let me repeat it, those who try to advise Turkey by shaking their finger, just like a governess, must understand that they are no longer facing the old Turkey," Erdoğan added.
"They say they will give Turkey a lesson in freedoms. You first go and give an account of rising racism, Islamophobia and discrimination in Europe. Those who close their eyes to what happens in Syria, who turn their back on the massacres in Palestine, cannot preach to us about freedom, democracy and human rights," he said.