Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage

Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage

The Turkish president has appeared in a video in which he assures a sobbing kid in military uniform that she'd get state honors if killed while fighting.


Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented at a televised congress of his AK party: 'If she's martyred, they'll lay a flag on her’.He made this comment - on live tv - in front of many cheering supporters who urged him to go on with the military offensive against the Kurdish fighters in the northern Afrin region in Syria.


Critics have condemned his action saying that it was the same sort of child abuse for propaganda as the one carried out by Islamic State fighters.


Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage

Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage

Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage

In the event, the young girl - approximately five years old - dressed as a soldier caught the attention of Mr. Erdogan, who then invited her to the stage, according to BBC.


'Look what you see here! Girl, what are you doing here? We have our maroon berets here, but maroon berets never cry,' he said to the girl, referring to the beret worn by the Turkish Special Operations Forces.


'She has a Turkish flag in her pocket too... If she's martyred, they'll lay a flag on her, God willing,' the Turkish President said during the Congress in the southern town of Kahramanmaras.



Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage

Turkish troops are currently engaged in an offensive in the northern Syrian region of Afrin


Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage

The Syrian region of Afrin, which borders Turkey, is held by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and has faced a month-old assault by Ankara and allied Syrian rebels


Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage

Turkey says that it needs to protest its southern border areas from 'terrorist' forces based in Syria


Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage

Ankara sees both the YPG and PKK Kurdish groups as terrorist organisations - here a Turkish strike can be seen on a suspected PKK headquarters earlier this month


'She is ready for everything, isn't she?' The little girl replied: 'Yes.'


Then, Mr. Erdogan kissed her face and let her go.


Twitter users immediately condemned Erdogan's comments. Someone likened them to child abuse while another said the president was wrong to say 'God willing' to the death of a child.


The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which opposes Ankara’s operation in the Afrin region, also criticised Erdogan's action. As they said in a tweet:


'The mindset that abuses children by promising them death will lose.'


However, the president's latest comments don't appear to have dampened the enthusiasm of his supporters nor his Syria offensive - they don't seem concerned that Erdogan's sons have evaded military service, and that at the same time he routinely emphasizes the significance of martyrdom as a means of securing the country's future.


Turkey on 20 January 2018 launched a major operation aiming to oust YPG Kurdish forces from their enclave of the northwestern town of Afrin.


Mr. Erdogan had earlier said that troops would also move east to Manbij - where unlike Afrin there's a US military presence. Commentators claim that such a move would mark a significant escalation in the conflict.


Reference: Dailymail

Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage Turkish President's Comments On Child Martyrdom Spark Outrage Reviewed by Κατερίνα Παπ on 2:08 AM Rating: 5

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