Erdoğan says he may host Taliban leader for talks
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Aug. 11 that he could host the leader of the Taliban to discuss the security situation in Afghanistan. "Our related institutions are making efforts that could extend as far as some meetings with the Taliban. Maybe even I can be in a position to receive the person who will be their leader," Erdoğan said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Aug. 11 that he could meet with the leader of the Taliban as part of efforts to end the fighting in Afghanistan.
Erdoğan made the remarks as he was speaking in a live televised interview with CNN Türk.
"Our related institutions are making efforts that could extend as far as some meetings with the Taliban. Maybe even I can be in a position to receive the person who will be their leader," Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan said that he earlier spoke with the Qatari leader and they discussed "where can we stop the steps taken by the Taliban and where can we take a step towards peace."
The Taliban have warned Turkey against keeping troops in Afghanistan to guard the airport.
Turkey has offered to deploy troops at Kabul airport after NATO withdraws and has held talks with the United States for weeks. In exchange, Erdoğan has asked for financial, logistical and diplomatic conditions to be met.
"For now nothing has changed regarding the TAF (Turkish Armed Forces) taking control of Kabul Airport. The talks and the process are continuing," a senior Turkish official told Reuters.
"Work is continuing on the basis that the transfer will happen, but of course the situation in Afghanistan is being followed closely."
Taliban fighters took control of another city in northern Afghanistan on Aug. 11, the eighth provincial capital to fall to them in six days, as U.S.-led foreign forces complete their withdrawal.
'I don't have positive perception of social media'
Erdoğan also targeted social media once again, saying that he “does not have a positive perception" of it.
He also signaled that his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will draft a bill to further regulate social media. “I believe that there is a need for a work towards social media with the opening of parliament [in October],” he said.
“They [social media users] are trying to put a stain [on the government] through unreal information and news. We are seeing these people who are undertaking destructive activities and we are not surprised about it. As much as we are not surprised about these, we now say that 'Let there be a price,'” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan also targeted the dictionary-based discussion forum Ekşi Sözlük (which translates as Sour Dictionary) in his comments, saying: “No digital platform is immune from the law; as befits its name, Ekşi Sözlük is very much sour.”
Erdoğan's comments came after prosecutors launched an investigation into a discussion on the discussion forum. The investigation concerns an entry titled “What else should happen for the public to revolt?”
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office claimed that both the headline and discussions under it include “elements of crime.”
Erdoğan's use of prompter raises suspicion about integrity of questions
Meanwhile, Erdoğan's reading from a prompter during the live interview on Aug. 11 stirred social media, with several users expressing their suspicion about the integrity of questions.
They have pointed out that the use of a prompter suggests that journalists were given the questions by the Presidency prior to the broadcast.
“Erdoğan has to have written answers to be able to talk nowadays,” journalist İlhan Tanır wrote, sharing a screenshot showing the prompter.
Apparently, Turkish Pres Erdoğan used prompter during a live interview at @cnnturk.— ilhan tanir (@WashingtonPoint) August 11, 2021
Erdoğan has to have written answers to be able to talk nowadays.
And cc @CNN .. pic.twitter.com/ydEV1bU94o
Social media users also mentioned the whispers heard during the program, which suggested that answers to the questions were being whispered to Erdoğan.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also took to Twitter, saying: “You are even having the insults thrown at me written on the prompter, let alone the answers you will give to the 'questions.' A district in underwater and serious disaster news are coming one after another, but you do not have the capacity to rule the county. This country has seen an interview with whispering journalists thanks to you.”
Erdoğan, bırak “sorulara” vereceğin cevapları, bana edeceğin hakaretleri bile promptera yazdırmak zorunda kalıyorsun. Bir ilçe sular altında, ciddi felaket haberleri peş peşe geliyor ama senin ülkeyi yönetme kapasiten yok. Gazeteci fısıldaması ile söyleşi de gördü ülke sayende...— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) August 11, 2021
Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader Ali Babacan shared an interview he held with Habertürk, along with the message: “I have left behind another program on which I have answered questions without a prompter.”
Prompter kullanmadan soruları cevapladığım bir yayını daha geride bıraktık 😉— Ali Babacan (@alibabacan) August 11, 2021
Yayının tamamını izlemek için: https://t.co/g2HQA1tzKV pic.twitter.com/zTyczbSZjO
“A request to the person who has managed the prompter. You should have not organized the questions and answers in a complicated way. The transition from unemployment to Tokyo, from vaccine to diplomacy did not fit well. After all, there are journalists who are forbidden to ask questions and there is a prompter,” tweeted journalist Gökhan Özbek.
Prompteri düzenleyen arkadaştan ricam;— Gökhan Özbek (@gokhanozbek) August 11, 2021
Soru ve cevapları karışık yapmasaydınız ya.
Aşı’dan diplomasiye geçiş güzel durmamış.
Nede olsa soru sorması yasak gazeteciler ve prompter var… pic.twitter.com/815Wm4Gzck
“I do not know if there is a politician in history who uses a prompter while answering the questions of 'journalists'; I do not think so,” tweeted journalist Can Dündar.
Uzun yıllar haber stüdyosunda prompter kullanmış biri olarak, Erdoğan’ın “camdan okuma” performansının fena olmadığını söyleyebilirim. Ama tarihte,”gazeteciler”in sorusunu cevaplarken prompter kullanan bir siyasetçi var mıdır; hiç sanmıyorum.— Can Dündar (@candundaradasi) August 11, 2021
Bu, okurken uyuyakalmasından da fena. pic.twitter.com/modOkXGr2b