Erdoğan claims he wasn't referring to Sezen Aksu when threatening to 'cut tongues'

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed that he was not referring to the legendary singer Sezen Aksu when he last week threatened to "cut the tongues" of those who defame Adam and Eve. Erdoğan also touched upon the recent arrest of journalist Sedef Kabaş, vowing that "whatever the law requires will be done" after she was jailed on a charge of "insulting the president."

This collage photo shows Erdoğan (L) and Sezen Aksu.

Duvar English

In an interview with broadcaster NTV on Jan. 26, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has touched upon his previous remarks targeting the legendary singer Sezen Aksu 

Erdoğan claimed that he did not address Aksu when he said last week: “No one can defame our Prophet Adam. It is our duty to cut those tongues. No one's tongue can say those words to our mother Eve." 

He said that Aksu is an important musician and that his previous words were not for specifically one person, but for all of those who blaspheme holy figures.

"Firstly, the addressee of my speech was not Sezen Aksu. Sezen Aksu is an important name in Turkish music. With her songs, she is an artist who has become an interpreter of our people's emotions," he said. 

Social media users pointed out Erdoğan took a step back from his previous words as it is still a matter of curiosity whom the president was referring to with his threatening remarks. 

For the last two weeks, Aksu has been on the target of Islamist groups, close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), over her song in which she says, "Say hello to those ignorant Eve and Adam. 

Journalist Sedef Kabaş’s 'crime' will not go unpunished, says Erdoğan 

Erdoğan also touched upon the recent arrest of journalist Sedef Kabaş, saying that her remarks were not a matter of freedom of expression.

“The targeting of the state, the President who rules the state, and the Presidency is at stake here. In fact, this insult is against the nation itself,” Erdoğan said. 

"The Turkish Penal Code's Article 299 regulates the crime of insulting the president. We cannot give credit to these people. Whatever the law requires, whatever the result, the necessary thing will be done. This has nothing to do with freedom of expression," Erdoğan said. 

Kabaş was jailed pending trial on Jan. 22 on a charge of "insulting the president." The alleged insult against Erdoğan was in the form of a palace-related proverb that Kabaş expressed both on television channel TELE1 and on her Twitter account.

“An ox might find his way into the palace but it doesn’t make him a king. It does, however, turn the palace into a barn,” Kabataş said on live TV and later in a tweet.

Erdoğan blames Istanbul mayor over problems caused by heavy snowfall

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, too, was on the agenda of Erdoğan. Erdoğan claimed that the municipality's debt increased as there was "incompetence" in the governance. 

The president blamed İmamoğlu over the problems that occurred during the heavy snowfall in the megacity over the week. “We cannot leave our Istanbul to its fate,” Erdoğan said. 

Heavy snowfall caused chaos in Istanbul this week, as flight operations at Istanbul Airport were suspended and private vehicles were temporarily banned from traffic.