Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hit out at what he described as “attempts to make an Egypt out of Turkey,” adding that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would comply with the results at the ballot box no matter what they were.
“Should we accept if some try to make an Egypt out of Turkey? Never. The people’s right in Egypt has been extorted,” Erdoğan said, during the opening ceremony of a performance hall in Istanbul Aug. 3.
“If someone respects [the military takeover in Egypt], it is impossible for me as someone who believes in democracy to show him respect,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ had criticized the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Aug. 2 for having stated that the Egyptian military was “restoring democracy.” The military toppled elected President Mohamed Morsi July 3 because people were afraid that the country could descend into violence, Kerry had argued, leading Bozdağ to respond through Twitter that “coups don’t build democracy.”
During his speech, Erdoğan also said the AKP would defer to the results of elections.
“If the people tell us to leave, we will [bow down]. But if they tell us to stay, we will consider its trust as our honor and protect it until our last gasp,” Erdoğan said, arguing once again that those who took the streets during nationwide protests did not represent the majority of the people.
“Nobody should ignore the people because they did not throw stones at the police. Nobody should ignore them because they do not run headlines or signs under dirty letters on international newspapers. This people ran its headline in the elections.”
PM suggests renaming complex
Erdoğan praised Istanbul’s new Arenamega complex, which is set to host major performances. However, he told officials that he wasn’t quite satisfied with its name.
“The Turkish language has been ruined with imported words. We have lost our sensitivity of the Turkish language. But we have a rich history when it comes to naming our works,” Erdoğan said.
“When it comes to naming a child or a work that is as precious as a child, we have to adopt a perspective of conserving our language and civilization. Therefore I submit to your appreciation of finding another name for this complex that belongs more to us,” he added.
The performance hall has a capacity of 35,000 people and a stage of 704 square meters, one of the biggest in Europe.