Why does the prime minister enjoy scolding?
I’m sure you have noticed it as well. When the prime minister does not deliver a speech, when he is in his office working or when he is resting, there are almost no headlines. We are left without an agenda. We are left out in the cold looking for stories. Unfortunately, opposition parties alone are unable to fill this void.
Whenever the prime minister goes out of his house or office and starts talking, a wave of excitement begins. Society is activated, electrified and strained. The size of the headlines gets bigger, while the circulation of newspapers and ratings for TV news increase.
The program is generally known. Every Tuesday there is a Justice and Development Party (Ak Parti) group meeting. The speeches continue randomly in subsequent days at an opening or a meeting.
We also know the line of scolding in speeches now.
First Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and his main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) get their share. However, this scolding has slowly turned into fun. With a funny, sarcastic discourse, the prime minister both laughs himself and cheers up his group. Even the most sullen Ak Parti members start laughing when the prime minister starts teasing the CHP.
Visitors to the balcony immediately boost morale: “Turkey is proud of you.”
The second in line is his response to criticism. The mood changes at responses to criticism against a policy or amendment the government has announced. There, both the tone of the voice and the words sharpen.
Third is generally the media.
If there is time and need, then starting with Bashar al-Assad, stopping at Israel and departing from the United Nations, a series of leaders and organizations according to their place in the line and their size, all receive their share.
As you see, everybody gets their share.
I cannot say I know the prime minister very closely. I have participated in some of his trips; I have been invited to special dinners a few times. I have observed him in press conferences and private conversations. As far as I can see, he is a leader who gives the impression that he is a witty person with a mild approach. But at times he has such speeches, such reactions that I am astonished.
One day you look and see how he drags through the mud a writer who has criticized him or a story.
The time comes, he scolds business circles and he devastates the opposition. In fact, that person or group, even though they look unfair in the eyes of the prime minister, has expressed its own opinions.
He beats the critics – as if he is taking a lot of pleasure – that he can easily ignore with a remark of “You may think like that, but we think like this.”
He wreaks havoc on them, he pours out his heart.
I have always asked this to myself: Why is he so angry?
Is he really angry, or is he pretending to be angry?
I think some of his reactions are really full of anger. In those situations, it is better not to float around. Some of his reactions are for internal use. He makes people say, “Look he answers every criticism … Look he even struck Obama … He devastated the opposition…” More importantly, his party organization likes this. Our political public does not like gestures such as kindness and gentlemanly behavior.
This situation is not unique to Erdoğan. Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli also face similar pressures. They are also extremely gentle, mannered and mild leaders. But in the hands of their organization and society, they turn into monsters.
What can we do? We like this kind of politics.
Well, if that is the case, then we could at least stop complaining.