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Turkey slams Biden's past policy statements against Erdogan

US Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden (Photo by AP)

Turkey has slammed as “interventionist” remarks made by US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden late last year when he advocated a new American approach towards what he referred to as “autocrat” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as US backing for the country’s opposition parties.

The former US vice president had made the comments in December 16, 2019 while addressing editors of the New York Times daily in a video that resurfaced recently in Turkey, making him the most popular subject on Twitter in the country, Reuters reported Saturday.

Biden states in the video that he is “very concerned” about Erdogan’s policy towards the Kurds in Turkey, his military cooperation with Russia, as well as access to US airfields in the country, which has long served as a close American ally an fellow member of the US-led NATO military alliance.

“What I think we should be doing is taking a very different approach to him now, making it clear that we support opposition leadership,” Biden emphasized in the video and verified by a transcript released in January by the prominent daily.

“He has to pay a price,” the US presidential contender further said at the time, insisting that Washington should bolster Turkish opposition leaders “to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan. Not by a coup, not by a coup, but by the electoral process.”

Reacting to Biden’s video remarks about his foreign policy positions, the Turkish president’s communications director Fahrettin Altun said the comments “reflect games and an interventionist approach towards Turkey” which are inconsistent with current diplomatic relations.

“Nobody can attack our nation’s will and democracy or question the legitimacy of our President, who was elected by popular vote,” Altun wrote in a Twitter post.

“We believe that these unbecoming statements which have no place in diplomacy by a presidential candidate from our NATO ally, the United States, are unacceptable to the current administration too,” he further underlined.

The Biden campaign is yet to respond to Turkey’s strong reaction to his foreign policy statements.

The re-election campaign of US President Donald Trump has not reacted to the emerging controversy about his rival. This is while diplomatic ties between the Trump administration and Ankara have been strained over Turkey’s purchase of Russian air defense systems, its policy in Syria and over US charges against a Turkish state bank for allegedly helping Iran evade sanctions.

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