Turkey’s Erdoğan to code computer program: Report

Turkey’s Erdoğan to code computer program: Report

Turkey’s Erdoğan to code computer program: Report

A pool photo featuring Erdoğan using a computer last year

A pro-government Turkish newspaper has reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will code a simple computer game or program to encourage young software developers.

Daily Sabah reported on July 6 that Erdoğan “prepared an important plan for Turkey to leap forward in the IT sector.” 

According to the report, Erdoğan’s “three-step project” aims to bring up “world-class IT experts, programmers and software developers” by taking Scandinavian countries as model, particularly Estonia.

“It is detected that students use [technological] means on social media and games,” daily Sabah stated, stressing that Erdoğan’s project will channel the youth’s energy into coding instead.

To accomplish this, Erdoğan “will first gather bright brains, who accomplished significant work in software, e-entrepreneurship and IT, around the presidential dining table.” Then, the report continued, Turkish president “will call on the business world to invest in software and programs.” 

The third and the final step of the project, according to daily Sabah, will involve a more direct role for Erdoğan. 

“IT festivals will be organized throughout Turkey. Erdoğan will write a simple game or a program command with students at these festivals, which will encourage them,” the report concluded. 

Erdoğan’s love-hate relationship

While the pro-government media keeps trying to convince the public that a powerful presidency would be better for Turkey, it is no secret that Erdoğan has had a love-hate relationship with new technologies and its platforms. 

Last year, his government blocked access to Facebook and Twitter, which he had previously described as “trouble.” He has also threatened to “eradicate” these platforms, although he uses the social media platform to address more than 6.6 million of his followers. Turkey’s Constitutional Court later revoked the ban, but there are still more than 81,000 websites blocked in Turkey, according to the independent monitoring website, Engelli Web. 

Erdoğan’s only publicly-known interaction with a Scandinavian software developer was also rather tense. In 2013, the Turkish president visited the headquarters of Rovio in Finland and asked in low spirits why the “Angry Birds” were so angry.

Rovio CEO Mikael Hed then reassured Erdoğan the Angry Birds were only angry because the pigs steal their eggs and their mood does not have “any negative effect on children.”