In remarks meant primarily against US President Donald Trump, Pelosi had said the US president “admires [Russian President Vladimir] Putin… [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un… [and President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan in Turkey,” suggesting that they presided over non-democratic regimes.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a tweet on Friday that Pelosi’s rise to the position of the speaker of the House of Representatives was “what is truly worrisome for American democracy, given her blatant ignorance.”
“You will learn to respect the Turkish people’s will,” Cavusoglu said, addressing Pelosi.
The Turkish president’s top press aide, Fahrettin Altun, also decried Pelosi’s comments as “careless.”
Trump had earlier said that he wouldn’t accept the results of the upcoming presidential election in November if he loses, preemptively refusing to concede and setting America up for political chaos. Pelosi said in reaction to that remark that Trump was living in America, not in Turkey.
Altun said power routinely transferred in Turkey on peaceful and democratic terms.
“When was the last time that there was no peaceful transfer of power in Turkey — with the exception of military coups?” Altun asked on his Twitter account in English. “And we remember who supported those attacks against Turkish democracy, too.”
“It’s against the US national interest and the spirit of an alliance to denigrate Turkey in an attempt to score domestic political points,” he said.
Turkey is angry at the United States for refusing to hand over US-based opposition figure Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara says orchestrated a July 2016 coup in the country.