Turkey’s president on Thursday blasted U.S. President Donald Trump threatening to cut aid to countries that vote to denounce his decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
“Mr. Trump, you can’t buy Turkey's democratic free will with your dollars,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech to a culture and art awards ceremony at the presidential complex.
“What do other countries call America? 'The cradle of democracy'. The cradle of democracy is looking to buy free wills with dollars,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan called on countries of the world “not to sell your free will in the fight for democracy.”
The full 193-member UN General Assembly will meet for a rare emergency special session regarding Trump's decision. The overwhelming majority are expected to vote against it.
Trump said Wednesday at the White House: "They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
He added: "This isn't like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they're doing."
Erdogan also pointed to U.S. sanctions on Sudan, first imposed in 1997 for alleged links to terrorism and then tightened in 2006, before Washington lifted most of them this October, saying Khartoum had begun to address concerns about terrorism and human rights abuses.
“When we look at these things, we ask ourselves, ‘What kind of a democracy is this?’” Erdogan asked.
“Let others use their own free will,” he urged.AA