What if kid Erdoğan broke the vase at home?

What if kid Erdoğan broke the vase at home?

MEHMET Y. YILMAZ myy@hurriyet.com.tr
Blog writer Orhan Tüzün has come up with an “answering algorithm” for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The algorithm consists of essentially eight steps. If he delivers a long speech he uses all of them, if he has a short speech he generally prefers just the first, third and sixth options.

The model is based on the assumption that when he was a kid, he broke a vase when he was alone at home. His mother came home and saw that the vase was broken. She asked kid Erdoğan why he broke the vase. Erdoğan’s “answering algorithm” starts at that moment and works like this:

First step: Change the expression so the act stops being a mistake, and instead looks like a good deed. “I did not break the vase. I glued the pieces together, I made an arrangement.” An example from real life: “I didn’t censor the Internet, I am taking it under control.”

Second step: Convince that you would be the last person to commit such a crime/to make such a mistake. “Why should I want to harm that vase? I am also a vase. When that vase was bought, I carried it four floors upstairs, exactly 98 steps. I am the number one supporter of that vase, why should I want to harm it?” In real life, it works like this: “Why should we put pressure on the judiciary? We are the ones who have built the biggest justice palaces in Turkey.”

Third step: Minimize the importance of the incident, normalize it. Also say that what you have done is minimal. “The vase is an ornament that has mostly been used in former communist countries, it is outdated. Look at America, look at England, are there vases in their homes?” The example from real life would be: “Did we invent the alcohol regulation? Look at Scandinavian countries, France, England. They all have far more restrictions.”

Fourth step: Crush the person with your compassion, your virtue. Say you would have done it if you had wanted to, but did not. “If I had wanted to I could have broken that vase 20 times before. I am at home alone with the vase every day. I didn’t do it. I myself am the assurance of the vase in this house.” Now, in real life: “We could have cut the Internet if we had wanted to during the Gezi incidents, but we did not.”

Fifth step: Never leave a question unanswered. Answer it with a “Let’s assume what you say it true…” Accept this option and demonstrate that you are acting very responsibly before that option: “Let’s say what you say is true. The vase had this experience. Does this show that it is because of me? There might have been a draft; the cat may have hit it. I have given the necessary instructions to the neighbor’s son Mustafa to look into it. He will examine and report to me. I will punish the cat.” An example from real life: “There are complaints about the police using excessive tear gas during the Gezi Park incidents. I have given orders for these to be examined.”

Sixth step: Question the sincerity of the person asking question on this matter. “If you had such sensitivity for vases, why did you not react and cry when the vase of the neighbor was broken, not once but twice?” In real life: “If you like trees so much, where were you when that university was built in the forest?”

Seventh step: You have shown yourself as the good guy. Now use this advantage to smear your opponent. “These acts of vase breaking are things my brother would do. He broke the window last year. He is doing this to impress Dad, to show that I am bad. But I know Dad will make the right decision. I am always talking to Dad.” Real life: “These demonstrations and this chaos are the product of the mentality of the CHP. The elections are coming.”

Eighth step: The issue is closed. Praise your own deeds and yourself, finish your speech at the summit. “Mom, I have other business. I’m the best at school. Other parents show me to their kids. I’m an example student. I mind my own business. With God’s help, I’m working to carry our family to become an example family in the apartment building.” Real life: “We have paid our debt to the IMF, we have built the Marmaray. We are building the biggest airport in the world.”

Orhan Tüzün’s full piece can be reached at:


Mehmet Y. Yılmaz is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Feb 11. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.