In a Dec. 16 meeting with New York Times editors, Biden called Erdogan an “autocrat” and advocated that the U.S. “embolden” his opponents to defeat him at the ballot box.
“What I think we should be doing is taking a very different approach to him now, making it clear that we support opposition leadership,” Biden said. The video, which resurfaced on Saturday and has since become the hot topic in Turkey, checked out against a transcript of the meeting the newspaper published.
A backlash soon followed.
“No one can attack the will of the nation and the democracy, and question the legitimacy of Turkey’s president,” Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, fumed on Twitter. “We believe that the current U.S. administration would find these undiplomatic remarks unseemly of a presidential candidate of our NATO ally.”