The Turkish PM has said that legal action is to be taken against The Times and those who wrote an open letter ad criticising him for Turkish police violence during the Gezi Park unrest in Turkey, reports The Turkish Weekly.
“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 by receiving 50 percent of the vote a dictator,” Erdoğan said today in Istanbul.” said Erdoğan, the Turkish PM.
The letter in The Times reads:
“Dear Mr Erdogan,
We, the undersigned, write this letter to most vigorously condemn the heavy-handed clamp down of your police forces on the peaceful protestors at Taksim Square and Gezi Park in Istanbul, as well as in other major cities of Turkey, which, according to the Turkish Medical Association, has left 5 people dead, 11 blinded-due to indiscriminate [sic] use of pepper gas, and over 8,000 injured.
Yet, only days after clearing Taksim Square and Gezi Park relying on untold brute force, you held a meeting in Istanbul, reminiscent of the Nuremberg Rally, with total disregard for the five dead whose only crime was to oppose your dictatorial rule: There are more journalists languishing in your prisons than the combined number of those in China and Iran. Moreover, you described these protestors as tramps, looters and hooligans, even alleging they were foreign-led terrorists. Whereas, in reality, they were nothing but youngsters wanting Turkey to remain a Secular Republic as designed by its founder Kemal Ataturk.
Finally, while you aspire to make your country a member of EU [sic], you refute all criticism levelled at you by its leaders, on grounds [sic] of Turkey being a Sovereign State. Notwithstanding, may we respectfully remind you, on grounds [!] of the Convention signed on 9 August 1949, Turkey is a member of Council [sic] of Europe, and by virtue of ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights, on May 18 1954, it has also indisputably placed itself within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. Consequently, your orders which led to the deaths of five innocent youths, might well constitute a Case to Answer, in Strasbourg.
Dr. Claire Berlinski Writer; Lady Cholmondeley President Chopin Society; Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP; Maurice Farhi, MBE, Writer; Lord Julian Fellowes Screenwriter. Oscar winner: ‘Gosford Park’;Jack Fox Actor; James Fox Actor; Christopher Hampton, CBE Playwright/screenwriter. Oscar winner: ‘Dangerous Liasons’; Rachel Johnson Novelist; Fuad Kavur Film maker; Sir Ben Kingsley Actor. Oscar Winner: ‘Ghandi’; Edmund Kingsley Actor; David Lynch Film director. Palme D’Or:‘Mulholland Drive’; Dr. Andrew Mango Biographer of Ataturk; Marquess of Downshire Landowner;Lord Monson Writer; Edna O’Brien Writer; Hugo Page, QC Barrister; Sean Penn Actor/Director. Oscar winner: ‘Milk’ & ‘Mystic River’; Frederic Raphael Writer. Oscar winner: ‘Darling’; Susan Sarandon Actress. Oscar winner: ‘Dead Man Walking’; Fazil Say Composer, pianist; Christopher Shinn Playwright; Dr. David Starkey, CBE Constitutional historian; Sir Tom Stoppard Playwright/ Screenwriter. Oscar winner: ‘Shakespeare in Love’; Lord Strathcarron Documentary maker; Ronald Thwaites, QC Barrister; Igor Ustinov Sculptor; Vilmos Zsigmond Cinematographer. Oscar winner:‘Close Encounters’ .”
But there may still be more to learn, as Rachel Johnson, the sister of The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, told The Backbencher’s Tea Room Editor, Ashley Perks, that she had neither wrote, nor paid for the letter, and that she is “sure none of the others did either.”