Claim: Erdogan says "democracy, freedom, rule of law have no value for us"

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Claim: Erdogan says "democracy, freedom, rule of law have no value for us"

2016-03-21 04:28 GMT
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The Independent claims Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said democracy, freedom and rule of law have no value any longer

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech

On 18 March 2016, The Independent's Lizzie Dearden wrote a news article and claimed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that democracy, freedom and the rule of law have absolutely no value in a meeting held at Turkey’s presidential complex on 16 March 2016.1

However, Erdogan's words were taken out of context and translated incorrectly. In the meeting Erdogan compared the stance western countries have taken regarding the fight against terrorism. He gave France as an example and said the following:

"Last November, terror attacks happened in France, right? The state of emergency is still being enforced in the country. Today security forces in France, without a judicial enforcement, have the right to ransack houses, workplaces and cars of everyone they deem to have links to a terror organization, and have the right to interrogate them anytime they like. Nobody tells France: ‘How can such a practice as the state of emergency take place in a democratic country? How come such operations can be carried out without judicial permission? You are doing wrong!’ But the same parties, with the notions of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law, unceasingly dictate to us, who face terrorism everyday, saying ‘Do not conduct operations against terror organizations!’. We have not heard nor seen those who give us this order ever turn to terror organizations and say ‘Do not attack Turkey! Do not kill the innocent!’ Now I ask: Why do the methods regarded as France's right to struggle with terror hit a wall of democracy, freedom, rule of law when it comes to us? Why? This is called hypocrisy. I say it explicitly that these expressions do not have value for us anymore at all."2