Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at foreign media on Saturday, saying "Jewish capital" was behind the New York Times and that the British Guardian should "know its limits."
Erdogan's statements were made during a campaign rally for his AK Party, one day before the Turkish national elections, which could pave the way for the expansion of Erdogan's executive powers.
This prospect was viewed with concern by the New York Times and the Guardian in recently published editorials, titled "Dark clouds over Turkey" and "Growing autocracy threatens a crucial country," respectively.
Addressing the crowd at the eastern province of Ardahan on Saturday, Erdogan slammed the NYT, accusing it of a consistent stance against Turkey's leaders dating back to the days of the Ottoman Empire. "It's clear who their patrons are. There is Jewish capital behind it, unfortunately," Erdogan told the crowds, AFP reported.
Erdogan was equally incensed by the Guardian. "Do you know what a British newspaper says about this election? It says the not fully-westernized, poor Muslims are not being allowed to manage their own country!" Erdogan told the crowd, AFP reported.
"Who are you? You are impertinent!" he said, addressing the Guardian. "Know your limits. Since when were you given such authority?"
The New York Times editorial, published last month, accused Erdogan of being "increasingly hostile to truth-telling." "While the country has faced tough political campaigns before, this one is especially vicious and the mood seems unusually dark and fearful," it said, citing the crackdown on Turkish media outlets critical of Erdogan.
"After more than a decade of amassing power as Turkey’s leader," the editorial added, "Mr. Erdogan could be on the verge of realizing his dream of changing the Constitution to make the president, rather than the prime minister, the leading political authority."
Following the editorial's publication, Erdogan accused the Times in a panel in Istanbul of meddling with Turkey's internal affairs, saying the newspaper would never dare to publish such an editorial about the U.S. administration.
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