It took just a few hours for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to realise the mistake he made while speaking to the members of his party in Ankara on May 8.
Referring to himself first in the third person, President Erodgan said: “his foes have just one care – to destroy Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
He continued: “If one day our nation says ‘tamam’, then we will move to the side”.
In Turkish, “tamam” means “that's enough”. And that is exactly what Turks said in response to the president's pledge.
In tandem with Erdogan's outspoken political opponents, many members of the public at large took to Twitter to say “enough”. On May 8 and 9, #Tamam trended worldwide and across Turkey.
T A M A M now shared over 1 million times. pic.twitter.com/P42owQSJue
— Piotr Zalewski (@p_zalewski) May 8, 2018
In retaliation, the hashtag “#Devam” meaning “continue” or “carry on” also started gaining influence. But the comparison of the two is nowhere near close.
Akin Unver, who is a Fellow of Cyber Research Program at the Centre for Economic and Foreign Policy Research tracked both hashtags and shared this:
Istanbul focus: 1) #TAMAM 2) #DEVAM
Ankara focus: 1) #TAMAM 2) #DEVAM (too many bots, most dots contain 100s of content) pic.twitter.com/1rVwYlymwx
— Akin Unver (@AkinUnver) May 9, 2018
Upon popular request; some simple distribution maps of Turkey's #TAMAM vs #DEVAM contest; one of the largest political hashtag wars in Internet history.
1- #TAMAM global dist
2- #DEVAM global dist
3- #TAMAM national dist
4- #DEVAM national dist pic.twitter.com/DiMuqsQZQa
— Akin Unver (@AkinUnver) May 9, 2018
“One of the largest political hashtag wars in internet history” is raging in Turkey between #TAMAM and #DEVAM.
Find out more ?https://t.co/z2wviYuKe6
— BBC_HaveYourSay (@BBC_HaveYourSay) May 9, 2018
eminiz. son kararımız. ?T A M A M #tamam pic.twitter.com/1I4yWgN6YJ
— Erbil Gözüaçık (@erbil_gozuacik) May 9, 2018
We are certain. This is our final decision [The block below says: Are you sure you want to exit? Ok or Cancel
“What have i done?” T A M A M #Tamam pic.twitter.com/qC5fcJCbkU
— Ismail Küpeli (@ismail_kupeli) May 8, 2018
Others have called to remove Turkey's emergency rule — which Erdogan used as justification for early elections, currently scheduled for June 24 — in order to have free and fair elections in Turkey.
OHCHR | Turkey must lift state of emergency restrictions for credible elections to take place https://t.co/VomTC22cwT
— Emma Sinclair-Webb (@esinclairwebb) May 9, 2018
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales used the hashtag as an opportunity to call on Erdogan to lift the ban on Wikipedia, which has been blocked for a year in Turkey.
I love Turkey. I love the Turkish culture and people. The beautiful city of Istanbul… great food, great wine, great culture. I call on Erdogan to unblock Wikipedia and to listen to the people! #tamam #wemissturkey
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) May 8, 2018
#Tamam also made it to Instagram:
Authorities were quick to dismiss the rising support for “tamam” online and claimed posts were sent by bots associated with PKK and FETO.
AKP spokesman Mahir Unal said:
Most of the tweets with the hashtag TAMAM are posted from countries where FETÖ and PKK are active. They are bot accounts. We can understand Greece. But what about those at home?’
Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın in a press conference on May 9 was quoted saying:
The attacks via social media bots will not come up with any results. We consider reality, not the virtual world. We believe our nation will say ‘continue’ instead. It is not important for us. Citizens will have the last word in the polls.
Deputy PM Bozdağ: “They [those who are saying #Tamam] are dreaming, June 24 will be the day their dream turns into a nightmare.” https://t.co/9YwGXtNsLh
— Has Avrat (@hasavrat) May 9, 2018
While Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu used #Devam to stress that Turkey's future lies with President Erdogan.
Büyük hayallerimiz, büyük sevdamız var! Daha müreffeh, daha güçlü bir Türkiye için, kutlu davamıza DEVAM. pic.twitter.com/UbllAGfa1b
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) May 8, 2018
We have big hopes and big love! In our blessed struggle for prosperous and stronger Turkey #carryon
Image text: Turkey is our common living space, common love, common past, common future
President Erdogan has ruled Turkey for 15 years. He has also called for snap elections, which will take place on June 24. If he secures victory in these elections, Erdogan will stay in power for the next seven years.