Erdoğan Accused Media Reporting In Turning A blind Eye to Police Repression In France
He accused the media of selective reporting in turning a blind eye to police repression in the West while appearing overly keen to focus on Turkey’s alleged shortcomings.
His remarks echoed Western criticism of the Turkish police’s heavily-handed tactics against peaceful protesters during anti-government demonstrations in 2013.
“I am concerned over what’s happening in Paris,” Erdoğan said in a televised speech in Istanbul.
“I condemn the violence committed by the French police against people who use their right to demonstration,” he added.
He complained the same Western media who had been only too keen to report on anti-government protests in Turkey three years ago were silent over the treatment of French protesters.
“Today, Paris and Brussels are on fire,” said Erdoğan.
“In other Western cities there are very serious protests. Media organisations that held uninterrupted live broadcasts three years ago have stayed almost blind, deaf and dumb to the current events.”
France’s Socialist government is locked in a standoff with trade unions over a proposed labour law that has prompted strikes and protests across the country.
The 2013 demonstrations in Turkey were sparked by a police crackdown on a peaceful sit-in to save Istanbul’s Gezi park from being razed to make way for a development project.
“I ask Western politicians to be more sensitive about the events in Paris. You were advising me, pressing me: ‘Why act like that against the Gezi people’?” said Erdoğan.
“But now I raise my voice. Why are you doing this against people fighting for freedom in Paris?”
Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time of the Gezi protests, came under strong pressure from rights groups and Western allies over his government’s tough response.