ANKARA — Turkey’s foreign minister on Friday accused US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of “blatant ignorance” over her comments that questioned U.S. President Donald Trump’s commitment to democracy and his “admiration” of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other leaders accused of authoritarian rule.
Pelosi criticized Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses elections in November, and called on the U.S. president to honor his oath of office and the U.S. Constitution.
“We do know who he admires. He admires (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, he admires Kim Jong Un, he admires Erdogan in Turkey,” Pelosi said.
“But I remind him, you are not in North Korea, you are not in Turkey, you are not in Russia, Mr. President – and by the way, you are not in Saudi Arabia. You are in the United States of America. It is a democracy, so why don’t you just try for a moment to honor your oath of office to the Constitution of the United States?” she added.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu took to Twitter to admonish Pelosi over her remarks.
”(Pelosi’s) rise to become Speaker of the House is what is truly worrisome for American democracy, given her blatant ignorance,” Cavusoglu wrote. “You will learn to respect the Turkish people’s will.”
Turkey’s presidential spokesman also slammed Pelosi’s remarks.
“Pelosi who has become hostile towards Turkey is a biased politician. She had assumed such an attitude towards the Armenian genocide allegations before,” Ibrahim Kalin told reporters in Istanbul province.
“Just as her Armenian genocide allegations did not match up with historical facts, her evaluations on Turkish politics also have nothing to do with historical and actual facts,” he said.
Kalin said trying to solve American politics’ internal problems through Turkey is a vain effort. “Our advice to them is to evaluate the history and Turkey’s new dynamics correctly,” he said.
Trump has been fanning uncertainty as he floats theories the election may be “rigged” if he loses, echoing warnings he made ahead of the 2016 voting — even though past elections have not shown substantial evidence of fraud from mail-in voting.