Tuesday’s World #2 – TURKEY

Tuesday's World Events   —   Posted on March 6, 2018

(from Associated Press) ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come under criticism for telling a small girl dressed in a military uniform that she would be honored if she were “martyred” for Turkey.

Turkish President Erdogan with 6 year-old Amine Tiras.

Erdogan spotted 6-year-old Amine Tiras crying and saluting while the president delivering a speech at his ruling party’s congress in the city of Kahramanmaras on Saturday, Feb.24, and had her brought on stage.

After trying to comfort the girl by kissing her on both cheeks, Erdogan told the crowd: “She has the Turkish flag in her pocket. If she becomes a martyr, God willing, this flag will be draped on her.”

Some people were appalled and took to Twitter to criticize the president.

One user said it was the state’s duty to protect children, not to “kill” them. Another said: “you don’t wish death for a child, you never say: ‘God willing.’”

His action comes as Turkish-nationalist sentiment is running high over a Turkish cross-border military offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters that are affiliated with Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey. In recent weeks, children dressed in commando uniforms or reciting nationalist poems have been making appearances in many events that he attends.

Yasar Okutan, a former government minister, accused Erdogan in a television interview of using them to increase votes in presidential and local elections in 2019 and questioned whether the president would say the same for his own granddaughter.

This article first published at Associated Press on Feb. 27, 2018


Turkish President Erdogan with children in military uniforms outside the floor of Turkey’s parliament on Feb. 22.


Modern-day Turkey was founded as a secular state by Ataturk in 1923. In 2007, hundreds of thousands of Turks rallied against leaders including Erdogan who want to rule Turkey as a Muslim state. Read an article here.

For a long list of human rights abuses in Turkey under President Erdogan's leadership, do an internet search for human rights violations+Erdogan.

Visit the NATO website.