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US Capitol riot is a disgrace to democracy – Turkish President, Recep Erdogan reacts

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Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reacted to the storming of the US Capitol building by Donald Trump’s supporters, calling it a disgrace that has “shocked humankind”.

Erdogan had developed a close personal friendship with the outgoing US leader and had waited three days before congratulating Joe Biden over his November 3 presidential election win.

“This is a disgrace to democracy,” Erdogan told journalists in Istanbul.

“We hope that the transition to Mr Biden on January 20 will be peaceful and that America will go back to being at peace.”

Erdogan also extended condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the violence.

Ankara’s relations with Washington suffered from a failed 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan that he blames on a US Muslim preacher Turkey has unsuccessfully sought to extradite.

But Erdogan’s friendship with Trump has helped shield Turkey from past sanctions and also muted US criticism of Erdogan’s deteriorating record on human rights.

Erdogan’s comments Friday represented one of his strongest repudiations to date of the Trump administration.

The Turkish foreign ministry had issued a more muted statement late Wednesday urging the US to “overcome this internal political crisis in a mature manner”.

AFP

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