President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey lashed out at the “Armenian and Greek lobbies” calling them “evil forces,” during a nationally televised address aimed at updating his citizens about the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“The Greek and Armenian lobbies spark such anger—resonate so very deeply—among Turkey’s leaders precisely because our work speaks to the founding of the Turkish state upon the graves of millions of Christians and, more to the point, reminds Erdogan and others of the as-yet unfulfilled promise of the Treaty of Sevres and the justice still owed to our two nations,” said Armenian National Committee of America’s Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
During the speech on Monday, Erdogan announced a new four-day curfew, which will take effect on Saturday as a government step to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
“We continue our fight against this virus together as 83 million people,” Erdogan said. “Our number of new cases, deaths, ICU patients, and intubated patients continue to decrease as the number of recoveries and total tests conducted multiply.”
Somehow, however, Erdogan’s briefing—and self-praise—on the alleged inroads Turkey has made in combatting the pandemic became an opportunity for him to lash out at his detractors, with the “Armenian and Greek lobbies” being cited as examples of “the circles who are disturbed by Turkey never faltering in the pursuit of its goals despite all the attacks against it.”
Turkey will continue its fight against terrorism, foreign enemies including the “evil powers ranging from Armenian and Greek lobbies to centers of animosity originating in the Gulf,” as well as “those utilizing foreign financial institutions … to put shackles on us.”