During a press conference of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday, representatives of different media outlets made strong remarks as they asked Erdoğan questions, while he responded with striking answers.
Before asking her question, a certain Cansın Helvacı remarked: “We can say that we’re at the best point in Turkey’s history in our struggle with the PKK [the Kurdistan Workers’ Party].”
Only after stating this did she continue with her question: “You made an announcement in recent months and it’s been interpreted as a signal for a cross border military operation. Do you have such an operation on your agenda? The United States is providing military training for the terrorists of the YPG*/PKK. What are your comments on this?”
Erdoğan replied: “I recently met with Biden. My Minister of Foreign Affairs has also been talking with his counterpart about these things. But, unfortunately, the US is still pursuing a wrong policy in the region. (…) On the other hand, the person jailed in Edirne** says, ‘Come together, organise united rallies.’ Well, why don’t you organise your own rally instead of saying such things? Address your own supporters first. Do your supporters, indeed, have any strength left in them to organise rallies?”
A Murat Çiçek then said, with reference to Erdoğan’s remark about ‘the person jailed in Edirne’: “We’re faced with a European Union who supports that person who gives instructions from prison.”
Only after stating this did he go on to ask: “The Committee of Ministers, perceived as the executive body of the European Union, said that it penalised Turkey for its violation in the case of Osman Kavala. It indicated that a similar decision can be taken regarding Selehattin Demirtaş. What are your comments?”
The Turkish president replied: “There’s no need to comment on this. We do not recognise the decisions taken by the European Union in the cases of Kavala, Demirtaş or anyone else. It’s this simple. They’re void in our respect. (…) We’ve explained this many times before, whether they can get it or not. We don’t recognise a European Union decision over the decision of our judiciary. They can do whatever they want.”
A Sami Dadağlıoğlu started his question with a remark as well, stating: “The Republican People’s Party and Iyi Party decided to organise a rally upon Selahattin Demirtaş’ call for a united rally.” Only after stating this did he ask Erdoğan what he thought of the level of participation in the rallies of both the opposition and himself.
Erdoğan replied: “The tongue of the crowds in different gatherings tells me, ‘Let the ruling of the Justice and Development Party continue towards the bright future.”
* YPG: The People’s Defence Units in North and East Syria that provide the bulk of the armed forces in the struggle of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the Islamic State.
** A reference to Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which has the third largest parliamentary group in the Turkish National Assembly.