She is six years old, and she was last weekend in the audience when president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a rabble-rousing speech held about the fight against the Kurds, at a meeting of his AK Party in the province of Kahramanmaras, in southern Turkey. She wore a military-style uniform, with a brown beret. Like the special forces – the ‘Brown Berets’ – of the Turkish army.
When Erdoğan her noticed, she was lifted up and over the heads around on the stage in the afternoon. Her lips quivered, and she burst out crying. ‘Girl, what are you doing here?’, asked the president, while he to her bow. To the public he said: “We have Brown Berets here.’ And added: “But Brown Berets, crying not yet.’
“She has a Turkish flag in her bag too,” he went forth against the masses. ‘If, as a martyr falls, they will set her up with a flag covering the victim – God willing’.
And then again, to the girl: ‘She is prepared for anything, don’t you?”. “Yes,” whispered the girl, barely audible.
Video of the bizarre encounter went throughout the weekend, the internet around. On Twitter were Erdogans comments condemned as ‘child abuse’. “She is but a child, you wish her not dead, and you says not, “if God wants it”,” came one of the comments that the BBC translated.
The Turkish president a little girl used to his rhetoric force, her anger that she was crying and then asked her if she wanted a martyr wanted to be, raised by the attendees at the AKP meeting hardly any outrage. According to The New York Times dr of the Turkish media that the incident was reported, especially on the ‘courage’ and ‘determination’ of the child.