ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday launched a stinging attack on the European Union over its criticism of police raids on opposition media, bluntly telling Brussels to “mind its own business”.
Turkey has come under fire at home and abroad over the lightning arrests on Sunday of over two dozen journalists, television producers and police linked to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who has emerged as Erdogan’s arch-foe.
The European Union led the criticism with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn condemning the raids as “incompatible with the freedom of media”.
But Erdogan lashed out at the criticism and indicated that he did not care what impact the arrest would have on Turkey’s long-stalled membership bid to join the EU.
“The European Union cannot interfere in steps taken… within the rule of law against elements that threaten our national security,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in the western Turkish city of Izmit…