GR US

Compare and Contrast: Statements by Erdogan and Trump about George Floyd

Αssociated Press

George Floyd s name stands written outside the U.S. embassy after people marched there from Trafalgar Square in central London on Sunday, May 31, 2020, (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The threat to use violence in order to stop violence leads nowhere. Even if it is merely a threat, but especially when it comes from the country's leadership, which, of course, has a responsibility towards all of its people.

On the contrary, the threat, or the actual use of violence, can make a bad situation worse and more dangerous.

Therefore, if the authorities do not properly address the justified anger caused by the tragic death of George Floyd, then we may be faced with uncontrollable situations, reminiscent of the 1960s, in Minneapolis and in other U.S. cities.

The case of George Floyd, an African-American who died when a police officer strangled him by pressing a knee to his neck despite the fact that Floyd begged him to stop, saying, "I can't breathe," went around the world.

There have been reactions condemning this explicit video from all corners of the world. However, when the President of Turkey offered his condolences to Floyd's family, it was almost like a surreal, bad joke that a statement such as that was coming from a known strongman.

"I believe that those who committed this inhumane act will receive the punishment they deserve," Erdogan said. “We will monitor the situation."

"I will remember," he continued, "with respect George Floyd, and I offer my condolences to his family and loved ones."

Is this not the epitome of hypocrisy coming from a globally renowned serial human rights abuser? 

In any case, violence and the destruction of property in Minneapolis and elsewhere, is not justified. Two evils don’t make a right.

When demonstrators vigorously protest the brutal murder of a person, express their outrage at the racism in society and specifically in the ranks of the police across the country, and shout "Black lives matter," they have my vote.

However, the burning and looting of shops under the pretext of justice for Floyd's murder cannot be considered morally acceptable actions.

Therefore, the police must, when anyone commits such acts, do their job. They must arrest them.

However, statements such as that of President Donald Trump on Twitter, in which he called the protesters "thugs" and uttered threats such as "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," have no place in such situations.

Statements like that probably serve a political purpose.

But they do not serve the interests of the country. It is not an act of leadership. In fact, the medium on which he relied so much to launch his political career, Twitter, added a note warning about "glorifying violence" to the presidential statement.

It is a pity because the President initially posted a serious message on Twitter, in which he said, "I feel very, very badly" about Floyd's death, and said of the video showing the manner of his death: "That’s a very shocking sight.”

That was a presidential statement.