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Turkey’s president slams those who call Trump ‘dictator’

Erdogan says anti-Trump protesters in Western nations had no respect for democracy

By AP - Nov 23,2016 - Last updated at Nov 23,2016

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserted on Wednesday that many in the US and Europe are branding US President-elect Donald Trump a "dictator" because he wasn't their favoured candidate. Erdogan called on them to respect democracy.

Addressing a meeting of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, Erdogan also accused Western nations of calling any leader that did not serve their interests a despot.

"The West will continue to welcome tyrants who have blood on their hands with red carpets and label anyone who criticises them as a dictator," said Erdogan who is frequently criticised for his increasingly autocratic style of governing.

"Are they calling someone a dictator? Then you should think the opposite. That person is good, because [he or she] goes against their interests," Erdogan said.

Turkey's relations with President Barack Obama's administration have been tense. Ankara has strongly objected to Washington's support for Syrian Kurdish militia who are linked to outlawed Kurdish rebels in Turkey and perceptions that the US is reluctant to extradite a Muslim cleric who is accused of masterminding a failed coup in July.

Erdogan spoke with Trump soon after his election and has said he hopes his triumph would be an "auspicious" development.

In the televised speech, Erdogan said anti-Trump protesters in Western nations had no respect for democracy or the result of the US election.

"In America they started calling Trump a dictator. In various countries of Europe they spilled into the streets and started saying 'dictator'," said Erdogan. "I thought you were democrats? Why aren't you respecting the results of the ballot box?"

Erdogan added that he was not concerned about Trump's comments on Islam or Muslims, saying the president-elect would "correct" them once in office.

 

"We are used to such things in politics," Erdogan said. "They speak that way today and then they'll correct that wrong," he said.

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