BELGRADE – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday lashed out at the West for giving Turkey “lessons in democracy,” rejecting mounting US and EU criticism over an alleged clampdown on press freedoms under his rule.

“Those who attempt to give us lessons in democracy and human rights must first contemplate their own shame,” Erdogan told a meeting of the Turkish Red Crescent in Ankara.

Erdogan’s comments came as local media reported the fresh arrest of five opposition journalists on Monday, without giving details on who they were.