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Interview with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; Interview with Tennis Superstar Billie Jean King; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired April 1, 2016 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: my exclusive interview with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on refugees and
terrorists. And I ask him why he's at war with the press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): I am not at war with press. We have to define what war against press stands for in
your point of view and in my point of view.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Also ahead: off court and on court, she's been the champion of women's equality. What tennis lesson Billie Jean King has to
say about the new battle of the sexes: Trump versus Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILLIE JEAN KING, TENNIS SUPERSTAR: I have a feeling they would probably analyze him and say he's a narcissist. So how do you counterattack a
That's what I would ask.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone and welcome to the weekend edition of our program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.
And this week the Turkish president visited Washington, amid an air of frustration and a strained relationship with the West. World leaders were
meeting to discuss the ongoing war against ISIS on the sidelines of the nuclear security summit.
And while President Obama met informally with his Turkish counterpart, he left the formal meeting to his vice president. The West needs Turkey to
help slow the flow of refugees and the war in Syria. But his war on critics and the press at home has his Western allies fuming.
I asked him about all of this when I sat down with him exclusively in Washington, starting with the deadly case of missed signals that allowed a
suicide bomber to wreak carnage in Brussels last week.
AMANPOUR: Mr. President, welcome to the program.
Can I first ask you about the issue of Ibrahim Bakraoui, who you say you alerted the West to and in fact deported?
Why do you think they did not pick up your intelligence?
And, particularly, the Dutch say that your government did not alert them to the fact that he had jihadi tendencies?
ERDOGAN (through translator): You have to identify whether these are foreign fighters or jihadists. The Netherlands nor the Belgians seem to
have understood what jihadist stands for.
We have been calling the nations for a common stand against terrorism and many of the European member states failed to attach the significance that
this call for action deserves.
AMANPOUR: Tell me how Turkey is going to enforce this deal that it's made with the E.U. regarding preventing more refugees coming into Europe, coming
ERDOGAN (through translator): I must mention that Turkey is surrounded by a vast shoreline and this shoreline is taken under surveillance within the
utmost capabilities that we have with the coast guard and the trespassing is not as frequent as it used to be.
We have taken the necessary measures, similar to the measures taken by Greece, around the islands in the Aegean. With the timely sharing of the
intelligence, with a joint cooperation --
ERDOGAN (through translator): -- with Greece, we can see a significant drop in the amount of refugees trying to cross over to the European
But I would like to announce something to the rest of the world and the U.S. There's a step that we need to take forward. On the northern part of
Syria, we have to establish a secure zone liberated from terrorism entirely. We can build up homes for the refugees.
And in this secure zone, Syrian citizens will be housed. Schools will be built for them. Offices will be built for them. They will be settled
there and they will no longer need to flee the Syrian territory.
And we have that opportunity. And the refugees who are currently in Turkey will go back to Syria. The relevant infrastructure will be built in a
year, a year and a half and I'm very much determined and I'm very ambitious.
AMANPOUR: Right now, you have a situation where you have called in the German ambassador because of a satire that was on the Internet in Germany,
mocking you and criticizing you.
Why do you care?
Why is it so important for you to make a big deal about this?
And doesn't it show that you have a very thin skin and that, actually, by making a big deal about this, people know about it; whereas people may not
have known about it if you hadn't bothered with it at all?
ERDOGAN (through translator): Well, I must put it in very frank terms. We shouldn't confuse criticism with insult and defamation. I am and my people
are open to criticism. I am an open politician and I am an open leader.
With a participation of 85 percent and with 52 percent of all the votes, I was elected the president for the first time in Turkey.
Because as a prime minister, I used to work a lot in order to help flourish democracy, help establish a better and a more prosperous infrastructure
along with superstructure. And where Turkey stands in economic terms is quite obvious and appreciated by the Turkish people.
So long as you love the people sincerely and deeply, people will love you. And this is something that I've observed in the aftermath of the
presidential elections in Turkey.
AMANPOUR: So why do you care about this satire?
ERDOGAN (through translator): Satire?
Whether it be satire or not, everything has to have boundaries. While you are coming up with some sort of a satire, a simple caricature, a simple
sketch, that's fine; there's nothing wrong with that.
But if you draw up a caricature and put the subject into a shape that they're not supposed to be in and if you associate that subject with the
things you're not supposed to, then, of course, you can't expect that to be acceptable.
We have laws in place and laws allow you to have freedom to the extent defined by law. And, of course, it's my natural right to seek out for my
own rights. Through my lawyers and through my solicitors I can do this.
Let me give you an example.
If, through satire, daish would be supported, would you accept this?
AMANPOUR: Yes, but those are two different things.
ERDOGAN (through translator): You say they are two different things, but satire, with the president of a country in its core, results in defamation
and insult to something totally different.
You cannot claim Tayyip Erdogan to be a terrorist. And if somebody's going to claim a democratic president of any country a terrorist, I will seek out
for my rights through legal means. This is what I did. If I don't do that, I will have acted disrespectfully to the 52 percent of the votes of
my people that I have received.
AMANPOUR: So that's one instance of a bigger picture, because Europe is also -- and your own people, your own free press -- are very, very
concerned about what's happening under your government. So many people are being fired from their jobs, put into jail and are on trial.
And you know there are two key people on trial right now from the newspaper that is under threat from the government and from the legal process. And
Europeans are going to the trial to observe the trial. That is kind of normal. The E.U. does that all over the world. And you're really angry
Again, I'm a member of the press. I'm also a UNESCO ambassador for freedom of expression. And I don't understand why somebody who's as secure as you
are and who has such a record, when you were prime minister, of democratizing Turkey, why you have gone to war with the press in your
What's the point of it?
ERDOGAN (through translator): Well, I'm not at war with press. We have to define what war against press stands for in your point of view and in my
point of view.
AMANPOUR: Well, getting -- having them fired, going to jail, putting them on trial, closing down newspapers, for instance.
ERDOGAN (through translator): Espionage, do you think it is a freedom of expression or a freedom of press?
AMANPOUR: Mr. President, every time we have this conversation, they get turned into spies and terrorists.
ERDOGAN (through translator): Please answer this to me.
AMANPOUR: Nobody else says that.
ERDOGAN (through translator): Is espionage part of freedom of press?
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, of course not. But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about press, independent press, in your democracy.
I guess the way I can say it is this: the E.U. has said freedom of expression is a non-negotiable condition for joining the E.U., as you want
to do. And you're in all these talks with the E.U.
Are you going to allow your press to be free?
ERDOGAN (through translator): Well, my country has laws in place. If a member of the press or an executive of a newspaper engaging in espionage,
disclosing a country's secrets to the rest of the world, and if this conduct becomes a part of a litigation, that litigation will result in a
verdict. Wherever you go around the world, this will be the case.
Engaging in actions which are not allowed by law should have certain prices to pay. And that price will not be paid by the president of any given
And regardless of where you're at around the world, there are very similar laws in place. There are many similar litigations going on. That's why,
in Turkey, not myself nor my government, we have never done anything to stop freedom of expression or freedom of press.
AMANPOUR: And when we come back, we turn our focus to the U.S. election.
And who might be President Erdogan's next U.S. counterpart?
I speak to equal rights activist and tennis legend, Billie Jean King, about this year's Battle of the Sexes.
Could it be Clinton versus Trump?
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
My next guest is a champion both on and off the court. Tennis star Billie Jean King has long been campaigning for women's rights and equal pay for
equal play, tights that are still unsettled -- and drawing fire after Novak Djokovic recently suggested that male players should be paid more than
their female counterparts, for which he later apologized.
Billie Jean waged and won her own Battle of the Sexes against Bobby Riggs in 1973. Now she's preparing for another one, if, indeed, the U.S.
presidential election boils down to Hillary versus Trump, as she told me here in the studio.
AMANPOUR: Billie Jean King, welcome to the program.
BILLIE JEAN KING, TENNIS SUPERSTAR: Ah, it's great to be with you again.
AMANPOUR: We're all right here in the middle of a very contested and confrontational and controversial presidential election campaign. You are
a women's activist; you are Hillary's surrogate.
How do you think it's going for Hillary against Trump?
KING: Oh, I think it's getting better and better and better. But what I don't like to do is get ahead, either, though. She still has to beat
But Trump is showing that he hasn't really thought things through, any of the issues really in depth. And that's, over time, I think is going to
AMANPOUR: Now just in the last 48 hours, he has changed positions several times on the issue of abortion. I'm going to play you a sound bite, which
was an encounter with the talk show host, Chris Matthews, here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Do you believe --
MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no?
As a principle?
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.
MATTHEWS: For the woman?
TRUMP: Yes, there has to be some form --
TRUMP: -- that I don't know.
MATTHEWS: Why not?
TRUMP: I don't know because --
MATTHEWS: You take positions on everything else.
TRUMP: I try -- well, I do take positions on everything else. It's a very complicated position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So he's had to retract that.
Can this really be an issue all these years later?
KING: Absolutely. Nothing changes. It's amazing, when you read history, it goes fast. Like I'm reading Alexander Hamilton right now. Oh, it's
just moseying along; as you read the pages, turn to -- wow, things happen fast.
But when you live history, it is so slow. Just look at "The Beat Goes On," with my generation, about equality, the pay gap, all the different things,
nothing changes. It's like Pete and Repeat.
AMANPOUR: He has said the most awful things about women. He's talked about women being ugly, fat pigs, et cetera.
He speaks very effusively -- and some say inappropriately -- about the great good looks and bodily attributes of his own daughter. And he has
been incredibly vulgar, frankly, in a lot of people's opinions, on the issue of women.
Can you imagine woman actually voting for him?
KING: Well, a lot of women like him. He's powerful. Women are very in love with status. So that's very attractive to women.
But when he has done well is he's talked about our anger in this country, that we're not happy. And that -- I think that's where he started well.
But now that we're getting into the issues and really the platform on these issues is you can see where he's floundering; he's not -- it's really tough
to be the president. There are so many issues.
AMANPOUR: Trump, when he says all these things about women, I wonder, hold on a second; I want to read you this CNN poll from the middle of this month
-- March -- apparently, among all women, he has a 74 percent unfavorable and only 24 percent favorable.
Among women registered to vote, that would 26 favorable, 73 percent unfavorable.
But among Republican women voters, 59 percent favorable, 39 percent unfavorable.
I guess the question from me to you is, after these decades of working for women's rights, of making certain insults and bias against women taboo,
he's able to do it -- but maybe he's not getting away with it. Maybe these --
KING: Oh, I don't think the whole time he will. It's showing -- its starting to cave in right now. It's starting to go backwards for him
because, over time, after a while you say, OK, that's it. I've heard it enough.
That means you -- there's misogyny here. He may or may not even know it. I don't think that's his intention because I know Donald Trump. He comes
to the tennis, to the -- I've met -- you know, every time he's very respectful. We always talk. He loves tennis. He talks tennis. He talks
all about women's tennis.
So it's interesting that he can be so derogatory and not -- and acts as if he doesn't understand that. But that happens all the time.
In a daily way, it happens -- when I watch commercials, I watch people speak. And I hear it; I see it constantly. It's so divisive; people don't
even notice it.
AMANPOUR: You came across this -- and I mean the whole world knows about the famous Battle of the Sexes. That was one of the amazing public things
that you did that sort of put paid to this notion that men and women weren't equal and, of course, that's when you beat Bobby Riggs back in
So you did that. And he was sort of the male chauvinist pig and he had all these amazing sort of publicity stunts and you countered them.
What would you advise Hillary Clinton if she finds herself the nominee and if Donald Trump finds himself the nominee?
That will be a sort of a similar battle of the sexes.
How should she go into that fight against a modern-day Bobby Riggs, somebody who thinks he's the greatest, somebody who is a male chauvinist
KING: Well, first of all, I'd talk to a psychologist and talk about Donald Trump's personality. I have a feeling they would probably analyze him and
say he's a narcissist.
So how do you counter-attack a narcissist?
That's what I would ask.
And understand your own personality because I think self-awareness is really important.
I don't think Hillary talks about her journey enough.
AMANPOUR: We had a big controversy last week or so, when Raymond Moore, who's a sponsor of one of the big tennis tournaments here in the United
States, said the following:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAYMOND MOORE, CEO, INDIAN WELLS: They ride on the coattails of the men. They don't make any decisions and they're lucky. They're very, very lucky.
If I was a lady player, I'd go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born because they carry this sport.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: To be honest with you, even all these days later, just as a woman, I am infuriated that somebody can say that we should be getting on
our knees for anything.
I think Ray is really unhappy. I've known Ray since the '60s. He fought - -
AMANPOUR: -- is he thinking?
KING: -- I don't think he was thinking. And he has been a great person and he's helped -- you know, break down apartheid. He's South African
originally. So Ray does a lot of good. I think he'll always be very unhappy he said this. But --
AMANPOUR: You still wonder how he could have said it --
KING: But this is what guys say in the locker room.
AMANPOUR: -- really.
KING: This is what guys say in the locker room, OK?
This is locker room talk.
And Ray forgot he's talking to the world.
I have heard this my whole life. I'm a woman in sports. Sports was developed by men. It's run by men. I've had to live in a world of men.
This -- I've heard this 1,000 times. My younger brother's a professional baseball player for 12 years. I know what they say. You just don't say it
AMANPOUR: Well, he did and he had to resign --
KING: Yes, he did --
AMANPOUR: -- and then Djokovic, of course, compounded it at the time by saying, actually, men should be paid more than women.
But then he met with you and he apologized.
AMANPOUR: I just want to play his apology and then ask you how that came about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC, WORLD NUMBER 1: Obviously I feel very sorry if in any way I've hurt my female colleague tennis players. I have a very good
relationship with all of them. We are all part of the same sport.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So anyway, profuse apology --
KING: Yes, he did.
AMANPOUR: Did you beat him over the head?
KING: No, absolutely not.
AMANPOUR: Like what the heck is going on --
KING: No, but Chris Evert and I had a press conference right before he was going to go out.
And he said, "Can I talk to you for a little bit?"
And we sat and talked. And he apologized to Chris and me. And he also -- I said -- he kept talking about the prize money.
And I said, "This is so much more than prize money."
AMANPOUR: He also speaks to a bias that happens inside and outside the locker room, that men believe that they play longer and they play harder
and they put more bums on seats, so to speak, and more eyes on the tube.
KING: It's very --
AMANPOUR: Tell us about that.
KING: -- it's very -- it varies -- it goes in cycles.
Right now the men are at their golden age. I've never seen the men be this good at the top five.
Now can I just say one thing?
Andy Murray talked about his daughter and was furious with Ray Moore -- and Stan Wawrinka, they both have daughters.
It's like, would you give your daughter less allowance than your son?
AMANPOUR: What about in soccer, professional soccer?
Just now, as we're talking, five of the top female soccer players have come out and said, it's not fair; we don't get paid the same as men.
KING: They're correct. It's not fair. They got the -- they have the biggest ratings ever in World Cup soccer this year. The women do deserve
more and also it's a growth opportunity for the sport.
Change is so slow and so difficult. But women have to stick up for themselves and fight for it.
But we have a lot of men on our side. We need to work together as a team and make these things right because we set -- we set an example to the rest
of the world. Sports are a microcosm of society. It's important that sports people take responsibility and step up and lead.
AMANPOUR: I have time for one more question briefly.
Maria Sharapova shocked the world when she announced that she had, in fact, been taking a banned substance, melodium (sic) -- what is it called?
KING: It took me a week to learn --
AMANPOUR: How shocked were you that she was in this situation?
And how difficult is this situation?
You were a Fed Cup team leader, president --
KING: When I was Fed Cup captain, which is coach if you're U.S.; if you're captain if you're outside the U.S., even -- you can't even have too much
caffeine. Like every morning I'd remind the team -- I'd say make sure you don't drink more than two cups of coffee because, remember, you're going to
have a urine test after the match and, you know, if you drink -- they're -- and I asked the doctor, I said, how many cups should they be allowed to
"Don't go over two and then you're safe."
So you know, if you're really sleepy, you want to have a jolt of caffeine.
I had to remind them because they'd go, oh, yes, thanks for reminding me. The list gets longer every year. The list comes out in September. January
1, it starts. Maria Sharapova is the last person in the world I ever thought this would happen to.
AMANPOUR: And you're pleased with the way she 'fessed up to it?
What do you think she's going to get --
AMANPOUR: -- as a sanction?
KING: First of all, it's always character revealing when the person steps up and is honest. And Maria -- that was character revealing --
AMANPOUR: Do you think she obviously didn't know?
What about her team?
KING: No, no, the team -- usually there's people responsible on your team at that level. They've got people who know what you ingest. They keep
track of the list.
Somebody screwed up someplace, I don't know where, and --
AMANPOUR: Is this the end of her career?
KING: It could be because I don't -- we don't know if it's going to be a lifetime or one year. I'm hoping it's not more than one year.
I've known Maria since she was 13. I know this -- she's the last person I ever thought this would happen. But I really admire her for stepping up
and we need the process to take care of itself. But I'm sad for her.
AMANPOUR: Billie Jean King, great conversation. Thank you very much indeed.
KING: Thank you. Thanks so much.
AMANPOUR: And as a coach, Billie Jean led many U.S. players to Olympic gold.
Now in the U.K. right now, they're mourning their own Olympic great. But she didn't compete in stadiums, she built them. The trailblazing female
architect Dame Zaha Hadid has died, aged 65, after suffering a heart attack. Hadid's architecture can be seen around the globe from the Olympic
Aquatic Center in London to her famed designed plaza in Seoul and all across the Middle East.
After a break, from the wave-like architecture of Zaha Hadid to imagining a world beneath the waves in Australia, where the blooming of white spells
disaster for the Great Barrier Reef. That's next.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world where the dazzling diversity of the Great Barrier Reef becomes a pale imitation of its former
self. Ninety-five percent of the reef, spreading from Cairns, Australia, to Papua, New Guinea, is severely bleached. This unparalleled crisis has
been caused by rising sea water temperatures, which makes coral calcify and expel the algae which gives them their color.
With more than 90 percent of the Earth's increased heat being absorbed by the oceans, climate change could turn the reef into a watery ghost town.
We'd be losing the world's largest living ecosystem, so huge in scale that it can even be seen from outer space.
The reef can recover, although it may take decades. But with El Nino whipping up ocean temperatures, it may be too late for much of this coral.
And that's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can now see us online, of course, listen to our podcast and always follow me on Facebook
and Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.