“Turkey's 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,” reports Turkish daily Hürriyet today [May 10, 2014].
Social media users were quick to create internet memes [English translation offered], which have become a constant staple since the Gezi protests broke out last year, to convey political criticism in a humorous manner.
The speech took place during the occasion of the 146th anniversary of the establishment of the Council of State in the capital city Ankara.
You can watch the video of Erdoğan's domestic “one minute show” here.
PM Erdoğan increasingly targets his criticism of higher judiciary members, who remain to be the only state actors to function as check and balance powers against a strong government in Turkey.
The criticism today reached a new level with Erdoğan's body language. It seems that if President Abdullah Gül had not prevented him, he would have walked to the stage to face off with Mr Feyzioğlu.
In less than four hours, three Twitter trending topics rose to worldwide trends. Pro-Erdoğan political trolls were quick to create two anti-Feyzioğlu hashtags while another hashtag supported him. A Twitter user, Emre Erdoğan, provided a visualisation of these Twitter messages based on geo-locations here:
— Emre Erdoğan (@urbanhobbit) May 10, 2014
I may agree with a pro-Republican People's Party (CHP) analyst, İlyas Başsoy, who believes that this theatrical move is designed to serve Mr Feyzioğlu's possible move to main opposition party CHP's leadership. As a master tactician in electoral politics, Erdoğan knows that Feyzioğlu's ultra secular nationalist political standing may prevent many political opponents and Kurdish citizens in general join ranks at CHP.