‘Where is your tie?’ President Erdoğan asks Tsipras
ISTANBULTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made a brief return foray into the language of Chaucer and Shakespeare during the ongoing World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, subjecting visiting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to questioning in an amalgamation of English and Turkish over his lack of tie.
“Where is kravat?” (Where is your tie?), Erdoğan asked Tsipras on May 23, prompting both leaders to laugh.
Erdoğan had given a tie as a present to Tsipras, but the Greek leader is known for his disdain of the fashion accessory.
“I gave one to you as a gift,” he added, to which Tsipras replied by saying, “Yes, but the next time.”
Erdoğan rarely ventures into the English language but often makes headlines when he does. During the 2009 Davos Summit, he famously stopped Israeli President Shimon Peres with the words “one minute” before subjecting him to criticism about Israel’s war in Gaza. The episode ushered in a deterioration in Turkish-Israeli relations that reached their nadir with the Israeli attack on a Turkish aid flotilla in 2010 that killed 10 Turkish activists.
The two-day World Humanitarian Summit, the first of its kind, officially kicked off on May 23 in Istanbul, with both host President Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel raising serious criticisms about shortcomings by the United Nations.