Turks protesting Internet censorship, February, 2014. Source.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan slammed European countries on Friday for criticizing deteriorating press freedom in Turkey and said they should instead try to find a solution for what he said was increasing Islamophobia in the continent.
Turkish police earlier this month raided media outlets close to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan accuses of forming a ‘parallel state’ to undermine his rule and orchestrating a graft scandal targeting his inner circle.
The European Union, which Turkey has been seeking to join for decades, said the media raids ran counter to European values, a criticism already dismissed by Erdogan. On Friday, the President repeated his discontent, with a visibly harsher tone.
“We are not Europe’s scapegoat,” Erdogan told a symposium of civil servants. “We are definitely not a country that Europe can point its finger at and scold. Instead of criticizing us, Europe should find a solution to increasing racism and Islamophobia”…