The furor over comments by presumptive US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in December — in which he called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan an “autocrat” and said he would help his opponents to replace him — shows no signs of abating, even though the former vice president made them so long ago. “You are no match for this nation, you brazen man!” howled the pro-government daily Yeni Safak today. “Know your place,” warned Yeni Akit, another government mouthpiece.
They were taking their cues from Erdogan’s lieutenants. His head of communications Fahrettin Altun said Biden’s words reflected an “interventionist approach” toward Turkey. “No one can attack our national will,” he fumed. Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin vented via Twitter, saying, “The days of ordering Turkey around are over,” and that those who dared do so would “pay the price.”