Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused the New York Times of meddling in Turkey’s affairs with a critical editorial, angrily telling the US daily to “know your place”.
In a growing controversy over media rights in Turkey ahead of the June 7 legislative polls, Erdogan blasted an “impolite” editorial in the New York Times last week which he said “literally gave orders to the United States”.
“As a newspaper, you (the New York Times) should know your place,” he said in a televised speech in Istanbul.
“You are meddling in Turkey’s affairs by writing something like this. By publishing this editorial, you are overstepping the limits of freedom,” he said.
The New York Times had on Friday published an editorial entitled “Dark Clouds Over Turkey,” deeply critical of Erdogan’s rule and accusing him of a crackdown ahead of the polls.
The editorial referred to attacks by Erdogan on the Dogan Media Group, which owns the Hurriyet daily, over its coverage of the death sentence handed to former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.
“The United States and Turkey’s other NATO allies should be urging him (Erdogan) to turn away from this destructive path,” the New York Times editorial said.
Concerns have mounted in recent months over media rights in Turkey with legal proceedings opened against several journalists on accusations of insulting Erdogan.
Political tensions are riding high in Turkey ahead of the June 7 elections, with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) battling to keep the dominance it has maintained over the country since it first came to power in 2002.