Turkish PM Erdogan under fire over ‘Anti-Armenian Slur’

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edogan with Turkmen hat
Turkish Prime Minister wears a Turkmen hat during a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, on August 6, 2014 (AFP Photo/Adem Altan)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday faced accusations of racism days before he stands in presidential elections after saying in a television interview that it was ugly to be called an Armenian.

During a live interview on the private NTV channel late Tuesday, Erdogan complained that the opposition was carrying out a smear campaign against him by claiming that he was from another ethnic origin.

“They called me a Georgian. Pardon me for saying this, but they said even uglier things: They called me an Armenian!” Erdogan said.

“As far as I have learned from my father and grandfather, I am a Turk,” he added.

His comment that it was ugly to be called an Armenian drew anger on social media, further inflaming tensions days ahead of Sunday’s presidential election where Erdogan is hot favourite to become head of state.

“Excuse me, but please go and become the president of another country,” wrote prominent Turkish-Armenian columnist Hayko Bagdat in an angry response to Erdogan.

Melda Onur, lawmaker from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), asked: “Is there any ethnic group who could escape Erdogan’s hate speech?”

Even a senior lawmaker from the ultra right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) — usually not a natural friend of Turkey’s Armenians — came to their defence.

“We have news for Erdogan from the 21th century: Being an Armenian is not a crime, a fault, an ugly, an embarassing or a sinful thing…. But his words amount to hate crime according to our laws,” Tugrul Turkes said in a written statement.

Critics accused Erdogan of playing the sectarian and the ethnic card in the run-up to the presidential elections.

“Is it ugly to be an Armenian or is it a shame? Please explain now!” demanded Nevsin Mengu, an anchorwoman at the private CNN-Turk television.

Hursit Gunes, academic and CHP lawmaker, filed a criminal complaint against Erdogan for “inciting hatred” and “racism”, Milliyet newspaper reported.

– ‘Mad leader disease’ –

Turkey’s Armenian minority — the remnants of a much greater community that lived during the Ottoman Empire — numbers around 70,000 people, most of them living in Istanbul.

They often complain of being considered second-class citizens in a country where “Armenian” is often considered a curse.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their forebears were killed in a 1915-1916 genocide by Turkey’s former Ottoman Empire. Turkey says 500,000 died of fighting and starvation during World War I and categorically rejects the term genocide.

Erdogan in April expressed his condolences over the World War I massacres of Armenians, which he called “our shared pain”, but his overture was brushed aside by Yerevan.

Erdogan’s supporters are largely ethnic Turkish Sunni Muslims, who are the overwhelming majority community in Turkey.

During an election rally last weekend, the 61-year-old premier urged the CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu to make clear he belongs to the country’s minority Alevi community, an offshoot of Shia Islam.

“Kilicdaroglu, you can be an Alevi. I respect you. Don’t be afraid to say it. I am Sunni and can say it without fear. There is no need to deceive people,” he said.

Aytun Ciray, lawmaker and the deputy head of the CHP, called Erdogan a “very dangerous leader” with a “sick state of mind” and suggested that he showed symptoms of “Mad Leader Disease”.

Erdogan also said his presidential election rival Selahattin Demirtas — who represents a Kurdish party — was actually a Zaza, an ethnic group living in southeast Turkey who often consider themselves as Kurds.

The premier meanwhile has repeatedly called his other election rival Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu — the Egypt-born former head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation — “the Eyptian”.

“Yes, Kilicdaroglu is an Alevi, Demirtas is a Zaza, Ihsanoglu is Eyptian and you are a thief!”, the left-leaning BirGun newspaper headlined on Sunday, referring to the corruption allegations against Erdogan and his inner circle.

Yahoo/ AFP

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15 responses to “Turkish PM Erdogan under fire over ‘Anti-Armenian Slur’”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    Hohohoho … another Erdogan ‘joke’ … gone sour.

  2. nagy_michael2 Avatar
    nagy_michael2

    This mother fucker don’t know when to shut up. And he look so silly with this african zulu tribe outfit..

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Is that a sheepskin? Or a Yak-Attack? :-)))

  3. JUSTICE Avatar

    They must hang this ugly Monkey in the middle of Istanbul, cut his balls and feed them to ugly turkish dogs…
    this mother fucker will not shut up until he gets a bullet in his head…
    LOL He is proud to be an ugly Turk, he must be ashamed to belong to a criminal nation, just show me a country in the world which likes your turkish people.

  4. mynewsclips Avatar
    mynewsclips

    Why the Arminians are whining babies all around ? why cant they keep their buts in their own country ? why roming like Gypcies all over middle east ? What right they have over Turkey or Syria or Leb ? they are foreigners and should live and abide by local laws. Why they demand special previllages when even local population is also suffering ? why the Armenians support criminals fascist dictators against the interest of local population as in Syria and expect locals to treat them with special privileges ? the Armenians criminals even occupying Azeri lands, I have a message for them if you dont like the country which give you place to live, just get the hell out to your own country.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Well, you’re a winner I see. And whining too.

    2. JUSTICE Avatar

      Armenians are not Gypsies, the origin of your fuckish turkish nation is gypsies, go make some research and see who was living in these lands…and for your information before your grandfathers came from Mongolia to middle east, the Armenians and Greeks have build more than 4000 churches in the country which you called it “Turkey & Chicken” this lands where you think its yours you are mistaken… you have committed biggest genocides, biggest crimes, biggest abuses in mankind’s history… if you go back to Mongolia the Armenians will go back to Van & Cilicia, don’t worry about where they will live, just worry about how you have to admit the truth and stop lying…. and if you are not willing to go back the time will come where some nations will cook you in oven as thanks giving “TURKEY” and they will feed you to the DOGS…

      1. mynewsclips Avatar
        mynewsclips

        No substance, just accept you guys are back stabbers and opportunists well that will not work always, you talking about Turkey just wait for ISIS.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          One of ‘their gang’ I assume …. ?
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenia#Antiquity
          If you don’t like Wikipedia for History … try this one. 🙂
          https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/am.html

          As I see it, the poor Armenians are now surrounded by idiots.
          The truly crazy ISIS will only be another aggravation in history.

          1. nagy_michael2 Avatar
            nagy_michael2

            The Erd (Monkey) has not yet to date condemned the ISIS actions in Iraq period. Did not do that either when Morsi in power and his extermists running around scaring people off. this guy is ISIS modern history and he could careless whom he hurts period.

  5. Well in Turkey the government does not allow in any history books any reference about the Turkish genocide, cause as you know how Middle Eastern mentality is , they never admit that they are wrong cause i believe it comes from Inferiority Complex, cause we never do mistakes that is why we are behind the West in lots of things , we should admit so we do not do the same mistakes again and move on. As most educated people know there was Easter and Western Armenian Kingdom and before Christ Dikran The Great stretched his Empire all the way to Lebanon and Palestine, and i believe he took several thousand Jews as slaves to his capital Dikranagerd presently called Diyarbekir where mostly Kurds live there. so MYNEWSCLIPS sorry that you are jumoing into conclusion and that makes you look pathetic on this Ya Libnan site. Please read your History book and then come back and make intelligent conversation.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Ask about Lebanese history books in ‘school’ … too … hahahahahhaa
      (wonder where he gets his ‘news clips’ from …)

    2. mynewsclips Avatar
      mynewsclips

      What genocide you talking about moron, the Armenians backstab the country which give them place to live and work by collaborating with occupying French, it was a natural reaction by Turkey to act against anti-national back stabbers. Just go back to you country, that is the answer to all your problems.

      1. JUSTICE Avatar

        you son of a bitch you better shut your mouth, it seems you never went to school, you never read any book and you know nothing about history, go open historical maps and books and check since how many years this fuckish turkish people exist, go check their origin, check where they came from and stop saying that the turks gave place to Armenians to live , we were in these lands which you mother fuckers occupied for more than 2000 years and we are a nation of 4000 years, if the ottoman empire started ruling in 1299 with humanitarian crimes in all middle east it doesn’t make them the owner of our lands, neither they are the owner of the lands of the Byzantine or the Greek or the Cypriots… you are the slaves of Americans which used you like piece of shit, soon they will sell you over and the next WAR will be in your occupied lands… The rocks and sculptures with millions of historical evidences, with thousands of destroyed churches, cathedrals, and palaces can talk who you are and what you did to the Armenians…
        Be sure sooner or later your END is coming, just like the End of the ottoman empire came soon end of their children is coming…

      2. nagy_michael2 Avatar
        nagy_michael2

        Really and the turks have a history like ISIS who gave weapons to the Muslims and disarmed the christians and let the muslim slaughter them. you piece of shit

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