Criticize the sultan?

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stormed out of a speech delivered by Turkish Union of Bars head Metin Feyzioğlu, accusing Feyzioğlu of being „rude“ in a speech criticizing the government’s performance.

„What you’re saying is wrong,“ Erdoğan said near the end of the speech by Feyzioğlu, who was speaking on the occasion of the 146th anniversary of the establishment of the Council of State in Ankara.

„What am I saying that is wrong, Mr. Prime Minister?“ Feyzioğlu asked in reply, prompting Erdoğan to angrily respond: „This kind of rudeness is impossible.“

„I’m not the one who’s being rude, Mr. Prime Minister,“ the bar head then said.

Erdoğan became incensed over Feyzioğlu’s criticizing of the government’s failure to provide permanent settlement to some survivors of the 2011 Van earthquakes. He stressed that many people were still living in rudimentary conditions in shipping containers.

Rising from his seat to leave, Erdoğan interrupted the speech, saying Turkey’s highest lawyer had „no legal right“ to say such things. „Unfortunately, because of the law, we give a platform to things like this. You’re making a political speech … Everything you said about Van is a lie,“ he said.

Sitting alongside Erdoğan, President Abdullah Gül attempted to calm Erdoğan down, but to no avail.

„I haven’t been rude,“ Feyzioğlu said. „I’m not so bold as to tell anyone that they are being rude, Mr. Prime Minister. My speech was very inclusive.“

Speaking after the incident, he described Erdoğan’s comments as „saddening.“ „I’m saying, ‚let’s embrace each other.‘ The prime minister stood up and made extremely saddening comments that superseded the limits of respect by an unfathomable level,“ he said. / Hürriyet Daily News (mit einem sehenswerten Video von dem Zwischenfall)

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