Turkey’s angry Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Photo: AP)
Someone who is on Twitter can easily see how abusive language supporters of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) use, primarily inspired by their leader who goes on an insult rampage everyday before thousands of his cheering supporters during public rallies.
This, I believe, is endemic to many AKP supporters because they know no boundaries of morality, insulting women and respected figures who express critical opinions, with words that one would be utterly disturbed to see and read. Here are fifteen insults Erdoğan has recently made and the ones that world leaders around the world would be ashamed to write or voice.
1. Perverts. Last Monday, Erdoğan was speaking in Turkey’s eastern province of Muş, and lashed out at the Gülen movement for “orchestrating a coup” against the government. “They are perverts. They are tape editors, twitterers, they are whatever that comes to your mind.”
2. Atheists, terrorists. On Feb. 28, Erdoğan criticized a group of students who protested newly-built road crossing through the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara. “We opened a boulevard in Ankara despite these leftists, these atheists. They are atheists, they’re terrorists.” Oh by the way, they are students of the university, which is the only Turkish school that made it into the list of world’s best 100 universities.
3. Bloodsucking vampires. Erdoğan and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) launched a peace process last year. During a year of ceasefire, the PKK bolstered its position in southeastern Turkey and deepened its military presence in the area. Those who criticize the way the peace process is handled (and I’m not talking about nationalists here) and the government’s mistakes in this regard, are frequently targeted by Erdoğan as “bloodsucking vampires.”
4. Journalists with dog collars. During heated debates around Uludere/Roboski massacre, Erdoğan slammed journalists who were criticizing the government for covering up the airstrike that killed 34 civilians. Erdoğan said these columnists were with "dog collars" and that “we freed you from these dog collars.” He was referring to a situation, in which many Turkish columnists had to write in line with the military’s narrative. Ironically, he said in the same speech that these columnists had "national collars" but now they have "international collars."
5. Girl or woman? In 2011, speaking in Konya about protests in border town of Hopa, Erdoğan criticized a woman who climbed onto a police vehicle, but had her hips broken during the confrontation, saying that “I don’t know if she was a girl or a woman.” The remark caused a huge outrage among public.
6. Assassins. On Jan. 14, Erdoğan said during his parliamentary group meeting that those members of the judiciary, police and bureaucrats who staged the corruption operation are“insidious viruses” and likened them to infamous criminal gang called “Assassins.” He rarely used this word in his later speeches, but his supporters often employ this word to describe members of the Gülen movement.
7. Worse than Shia. During a televised interview earlier this week, Erdoğan said members of the Gülen movement are “worse than Shia” in “lies, slander and taqiyyah.” He didn’t only committed a crime with this hate speech before millions of people, but also insulted all Shia Muslims by claiming that they are good at always telling lies and slander.
8. Leech worms. Few weeks ago, Erdoğan found a new insult and started calling members of the Gülen movement as “leech worms.” He then edited himself, saying that likening leech worms to members of the Gülen movement would be an insult to the worms. "Lech worms are even better than them," Erdoğan said. Salute to a prime minister who would not even insult a worm!
9. Tumor. To fight against the corruption allegations, Erdoğan launched a campaign to describe members of the police and judiciary who launched the graft operation as “tumor” that infiltrated the body of the state. For dummies: He is referring to members of the police and judiciary who are just doing their job.
10. Criminal gang. Erdoğan, his media and his supporters started to describe the Gülen movement as a “gang” or “örgüt” in Turkish. The word has become a euphemism to describe the PKK, known for its history of terror and violence. He constantly uses the word “gang” as part of his plan to justify a possible sweeping operation against the members of the Gülen movement after the local polls slated for March 30.
11. Childless. It is no secret that Erdoğan’s level of logic in his speeches dropped to a level of a teenager (99.9 percent teenagers excluded). One of the most outrageous one was a “blame” Erdoğan put on opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen for having "no kids." He said they would not understand what it means of having children and family, because they "ain’t got one." Both Gülen and Bahçeli have never married (which might be a crime in Erdoğan’s new Turkey).
12. I suspect of their faith. Earlier this week, Erdoğan even questioned faith of members of the Gülen movement, saying that he even “suspects of their faith [in Islam].” In Islam, Muslims usually avoid questioning the faith of other Muslims because there is a danger that those who call others as a "non-believer" would become a non-Muslim if the description is groundless.
13. Insidious viruses and parasites. He first used this in January, but continued to publicly repeat this in almost everyday when he criticizes his opponents.
14. Burn in Hell. Last week, he highlighted how “dirty” his opponents are and claimed that “only Hell will purify them.” 101 Introduction to Islam class for Erdoğan: In Islam, we usually don’t say to each other "you will go to Hell" because it is banned for Muslims to "decide" who will go where after they die.
15. Piss off. On Friday, Erdoğan said during a public rally in eastern province of Batman that female activists may knock at your doors to say not to vote for his ruling party. “You tell them piss off!” Erdoğan said insulted.