Criticism over Erdogan's speech to military dressed girl
Mar 02, 2018, 01:29
"We have our maroon berets here, but maroon berets never cry", the Turkish president told the child in an apparent attempt to calm her.
After trying to comfort the girl by kissing her on both cheeks, Mr Erdogan told the crowd: "She has the Turkish flag in her pocket".
He called the little girl on stage, admonished her for bursting into tears, and assured her she will be honored with a flag-draped casket if she is "martyred" in service to the Turkish government. She did, although the attention apparently made her uncomfortable, judging by her sobbing.
"If she is martyred, a flag will be put on her, God willing", he says to the crowd.
Erdogan's comments came as a reaction after five Turkish soldiers were killed in a tank that was destroyed by an antitank missile while fighting in Syria's Afrin district against a Kurd movement which is incidentally supported by the US Army in the fight against ISIS.
The speech has been described as "child abuse" and a glorification of death.
Mr Erdogan earlier this month said troops would also move east to Manbij - where unlike Afrin there is a United States military presence.
In a freaky act of propaganda, while urging the nation to be ready for mobilization, the Turkish leader invited a small girl in military uniform onstage and assured the sobbing child she would receive state honors if killed. "She is ready for anything".
Mr. Erdogan's remarks to the girl on Saturday drew criticism from some on social media, who felt that the talk of martyrdom was inappropriate for a child so young. "She's just a child, you don't wish her dead and you don't say "God willing" for that!"
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