Turkish PM, CHP head hit below belt

Turkish PM, CHP head hit below belt

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish PM, CHP head hit below belt

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L) and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (R) hit an all-time low.

The level of decency and mutual respect in Parliament hit an all-time low on Nov. 6 as both the prime minister and the main opposition leader used an obscene and ethnically offensive saying to attack each other.

The first salvo came from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his polemic with main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Addressing his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group, Erdoğan said only a few hours before Fitch upgraded Turkey to investment grade on Nov. 5, Kılıçdaroğlu had delivered a speech in which he slammed the government’s economic policies. “As a matter of fact, whenever Kılıçdaroğlu denigrates the government, praises for Turkey come from the world,” Erdoğan said. “You know, exactly like the ‘ill-fated Bedouin.’” The full version of the obscene saying Erdoğan half said is: “The ill-fated Bedouin will be f– by polar bears in the desert.” The saying is used in Turkish slang to describe unfortunate people and situations.

As Kılıçdaroğlu’s address to the CHP parliamentary group took place later in the day, he found the opportunity to respond to Erdoğan in the same way. Kılıçdaroğlu described Erdoğan’s remarks as “bad manners,” but, his manners were not much better.

“Now I’m asking Erdoğan, aren’t you the one who travels in Syrian deserts, Libyan deserts and Saudi deserts? Turn and look in the mirror, you will see the ‘ill-fated Bedouin’ there. But I have a warning, you should be careful with the polar bears while traveling in those deserts.”

In addition to responding to Erdoğan with the same obscenity, the main opposition leader made his own contribution to the polemic with an obscene anecdote. “They ask the rooster ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ He says ‘I don’t understand such a things, I just say and move on.’ Me too, I just say and move on,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

In the original obscene anecdote, the rooster’s response is, with an apology to Hürriyet Daily News readers, “I don’t understand such things, I just f– and move on.”