ISTANBUL (AP) — Add Turkey's prime minister to President Barack Obama's allies in a fight over health care which has paralyzed much of the U.S. government.
In a rare comment on U.S. domestic policy, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday praised Obama's health care law and expressed puzzlement that some are trying to block it.
"It's such a beautiful step and to tell the truth, Mr. Obama should be supported," Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara. "There are those who say: 'You cannot spend my earnings on others.' Now, how is this possible?"
Obama's 2010 health care law is at the center of a budget standoff in Washington that has led to a partial government shutdown.
Erdogan said the law benefits those who cannot afford health care. Citing a dictum from the Ottoman sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, Erdogan added that human life should be held above all other interests of the state.
"Human beings are so important that we put them above all else," Erdogan said.