Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has said that the signatories to a letter published in The Times newspaper castigating him for police violence, had been deceived.
“Such famous people should read well and understand the texts that they sign. Those who have signed this letter have been seriously deceived,” Erdogan said during the opening ceremony of an airport in the southeastern Şırnak province on July 26.
The letter that appeared in the British broadsheet included Hollywood celebrities such as Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon.
“We regret that so-called celebrities who could not even show Turkey in a map have signed such a letter without reading its content, judging the sensitivity of the notions [in the letter], and without understanding the inside story of what happened in Turkey,” the prime minister added.
Erdogan threatened to take legal action against The Times and those who wrote the open letter ad. “I wonder how much you took for publishing this letter The Times? This is your worth. We will give a legal fight,” he said. “This letter will not cause the slightest stain to Turkey’s reputation. But it will stain the newspapers and names who publish it.”
Earlier that day the prime minister had accused The Times of showing a “lack of morality” in publishing the letter. “These are people who have rented out their minds. If they were sincere about democracy they would not act so immorally as to call a prime minister who was elected on 50 percent of the vote a dictator,” Erdogan said today in Istanbul.