While we thought Venezuelan President Maduro was doing well in the verbal combat sparring match of global diplomacy, and of course Russian President Vladimir Putin holds the lead in proclaimed "despotism", it is the corruption-probe bedraggled Prime Minister of Turkey that is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the world's leaders in his insults. As Zaman reports, not a day goes by when Erdogan does not spew forth some insult-infused speech to rally his cheering supporters and here are his Top 15...
1. Perverts. Last Monday, Erdo?an was speaking in Turkey's eastern province of Mu?, and lashed out at the Gülen movement for “orchestrating a coup” against the government. “They are perverts. They are tape editors, twitterers, they are whatever that comes to your mind.”
2. Atheists, terrorists. On Feb. 28, Erdo?an criticized a group of students who protested newly-built road crossing through the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara. “We opened a boulevard in Ankara despite these leftists, these atheists. They are atheists, they're terrorists.” Oh by the way, they are students of the university, which is the only Turkish school that made it into the list of world's best 100 universities.
3. Bloodsucking vampires. Erdo?an and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) launched a peace process last year. During a year of ceasefire, the PKK bolstered its position in southeastern Turkey and deepened its military presence in the area. Those who criticize the way the peace process is handled (and I'm not talking about nationalists here) and the government's mistakes in this regard, are frequently targeted by Erdo?an as “bloodsucking vampires.”
4. Journalists with dog collars. During heated debates around Uludere/Roboski massacre, Erdo?an slammed journalists who were criticizing the government for covering up the airstrike that killed 34 civilians. Erdo?an said these columnists were with "dog collars" and that “we freed you from these dog collars.” He was referring to a situation, in which many Turkish columnists had to write in line with the military's narrative. Ironically, he said in the same speech that these columnists had "national collars" but now they have "international collars."
5. Girl or woman? In 2011, speaking in Konya about protests in border town of Hopa, Erdo?an criticized a woman who climbed onto a police vehicle, but had her hips broken during the confrontation, saying that “I don't know if she was a girl or a woman.” The remark caused a huge outrage among public.
6. Assassins. On Jan. 14, Erdo?an said during his parliamentary group meeting that those members of the judiciary, police and bureaucrats who staged the corruption operation are “insidious viruses” and likened them to infamous criminal gang called “Assassins.” He rarely used this word in his later speeches, but his supporters often employ this word to describe members of the Gülen movement.
7. Worse than Shia. During a televised interview earlier this week, Erdo?an said members of the Gülen movement are “worse than Shia” in “lies, slander and taqiyyah.” He didn't only committed a crime with this hate speech before millions of people, but also insulted all Shia Muslims by claiming that they are good at always telling lies and slander.
8. Leech worms. Few weeks ago, Erdo?an found a new insult and started calling members of the Gülen movement as “leech worms.” He then edited himself, saying that likening leech worms to members of the Gülen movement would be an insult to the worms. "Lech worms are even better than them," Erdo?an said. Salute to a prime minister who would not even insult a worm!
9. Tumor. To fight against the corruption allegations, Erdo?an launched a campaign to describe members of the police and judiciary who launched the graft operation as “tumor” that infiltrated the body of the state. For dummies: He is referring to members of the police and judiciary who are just doing their job.
10. Criminal gang. Erdo?an, his media and his supporters started to describe the Gülen movement as a “gang” or “örgüt” in Turkish. The word has become a euphemism to describe the PKK, known for its history of terror and violence. He constantly uses the word “gang” as part of his plan to justify a possible sweeping operation against the members of the Gülen movement after the local polls slated for March 30.
11. Childless. It is no secret that Erdo?an's level of logic in his speeches dropped to a level of a teenager (99.9 percent teenagers excluded). One of the most outrageous one was a “blame” Erdo?an put on opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen for having "no kids." He said they would not understand what it means of having children and family, because they "ain't got one." Both Gülen and Bahçeli have never married (which might be a crime in Erdo?an's new Turkey).
12. I suspect of their faith. Earlier this week, Erdo?an even questioned faith of members of the Gülen movement, saying that he even “suspects of their faith [in Islam].” In Islam, Muslims usually avoid questioning the faith of other Muslims because there is a danger that those who call others as a "non-believer" would become a non-Muslim if the description is groundless.
13. Insidious viruses and parasites. He first used this in January, but continued to publicly repeat this in almost everyday when he criticizes his opponents.
14. Burn in Hell. Last week, he highlighted how “dirty” his opponents are and claimed that “only Hell will purify them.” 101 Introduction to Islam class for Erdo?an: In Islam, we usually don't say to each other "you will go to Hell" because it is banned for Muslims to "decide" who will go where after they die.
15. Piss off. On Friday, Erdo?an said during a public rally in eastern province of Batman that female activists may knock at your doors to say not to vote for his ruling party. “You tell them piss off!” Erdo?an said insulted.
Of course, not even Erodgan can compete with this... (Absolutely not suitable for work)...