“These are people who have rented out their minds," Erdogan said in Istanbul. "If they were sincere about democracy they would not act so immorally as to call a prime minister who was elected by receiving 50% of the vote a dictator."
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The Turkish prime minister added that those who signed the letter "are doing it because they do not know Turkey. The Times rents its page; this is their lack of morality."
The letter, whose signatories include Susan Sarandon, Ben Kingsley, David Lynch and Sean Penn, slammed the police's use of "untold brutal force" on protesters and accused Erdogan of disregarding the lives of five people who were killed in the protests.
The letter noted that Erdogan’s orders “led to the deaths of five innocent youths,” comparing the rallies organized by the ruling Justice
“Only days after clearing Taksim Square and Gezi Park relying on untold brutal force, you held a meeting in Istanbul, reminiscent of the Nuremberg Rally, with total disregard for the five dead whose only crime was to oppose your dictatorial rule,” the letter said.
AP contributed to this report
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