Governor’s cryptic midnight tweet debated on Gezi anniversary
ISTANBULA cryptic message tweeted by the governor of Istanbul on the early hours of May 28 has sparked a debate on Turkish social media just before the first anniversary of the Gezi Park protests.
“You can’t make baklava with maize flour and you can’t make a dough roller from a mulberry tree,” Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, or @Valimutlu, tweeted to his more than 800,000 followers. Baklava is a Turkish sweet pastry.
Along with Police Chief Hüseyin Çapkın, Mutlu was one of two most controversial authorities in Istanbul during the Gezi Park protests in June 2013.
Although several people accused him of ordering the police to use disproportionate force against the protesters, Mutlu was also known for his mild statements and warm-hearted tweets that frequently surprised many.
One of the most surprising messages that Mutlu tweeted was a poetic salutation to the youth who resisted the police in Gezi Park, as thousands of people were marching throughout Turkey in anti-government protests in early June.
“Young people; I’ve heard that there is a peaceful morning in Gezi Park with birdsongs, smell of linden and bees bumbling; is it true? I’d like to be with you,” Mutlu had tweeted on early June 9. The same day, Mutlu had also become the first official to apologize because of the “individual mistakes and extreme” behavior displayed by the police during the protests.
Protesters were also following Mutlu’s Twitter account to gain insight regarding the next move of the security forces. “They ask me if police will intervene [in Gezi Park] or not. I’m saying that they will not. Is it clear? Good night,” he tweeted another night at 2:08 a.m. Police staged a brutal attack soon afterwards.
Mutlu’s latest tweet became a popular topic on Turkish social media early May 28, three days before the anniversary of the explosion of last year’s protests. Some replies pointed out that Mutlu misquoted the proverb, as a mulberry tree is actually a good wood to make any utensil including dough rollers. “It should be fig tree, not mulberry,” İlkay Açıkgün tweeted in reply to Mutlu.
While some Twitter users jeered Mutlu’s latest tweet, others asked why he shared this cryptic message in the middle of the night.
“OK, but if you make a dough roller from a mulberry tree anyway, would police intervene?” @lumpensi asked.