PM Erdoğan slams opponent for ‘ignorance’ of National Anthem

PM Erdoğan slams opponent for ‘ignorance’ of National Anthem

PM Erdoğan slams opponent for ‘ignorance’ of National Anthem

Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu responded stressing that his father was Mehmet Akif Ersoy’s best friend. AA PHoto

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, one of his opponents in the presidential elections, of being “ignorant” of Turkey’s national anthem.

Erdoğan showed a film to hundreds of his supporters during his rally in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş on Aug. 1, in which İhsanoğlu was seen reciting a verse from Turkey’s national anthem, but apparently saying it was from another poem by Mehmet Akif Ersoy.

İhsanoğlu, who was nominated by the main opposition Republican People Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), had rejected claims that he did not know the words of the long poem that partly makes up the country’s national anthem, stressing his father was Ersoy’s best friend, who was one of the most prominent poets of the late Ottoman and early Republican periods.

In a rare move, Erdoğan referred to İhsanoğlu by his first name in his latest rally and claimed “he should learn a lesson about the national anthem.”

“This so-called professor also says he recited a couplet, but it was actually a quadrant. He should have admitted he had just stumbled. Be honest. Don’t lie,” Erdoğan said.