President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday struck back at international criticism regarding Turkey’s response to students protests, telling western nations to focus on unrest in their own countries.
Students and faculty have organized multiple demonstrations at Bogazici University and other areas in the past few weeks, after the Turkish president appointed a rector there with ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“I will say this to America: aren’t you ashamed of the incidents in the United States before the elections?” Erdogan said while leaving a mosque for Friday prayers. “Racism went over the roof,” he added, referring to the racial justice demonstrations across the US last year.
The Turkish president also addressed French President Emmanuel Macron’s criticism of the demonstrations, saying Paris needs to “sort out” the “yellow vest” protests.
US expresses support for protesters
The US State Department has criticized anti-LGBT rhetoric surrounding the protests. Turkey’s interior minister has characterized the protesters as “perverts” on Twitter.