Erdogan's "martyr" remark to young girl sparks opposition


Erdogan's "martyr" remark to young girl sparks opposition

President Erdogan once again condemned the killing by the Armenians of innocent people in Khojaly tragedy and offered his condolences to the President and people of Azerbaijan.

The embattled leader was addressing members of Turkey's ruling party Saturday in Kahramanmaras when he noticed Amine Tiras crying.

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He pointed to a Turkish flag folded in her pocket, the report said.

He ordered for her to be brought up on stage. She held her salute, but her face began to crumple in anxiety as she was lifted out of the crowd to meet the president.

Mr Erdogan has heavily promoted the Turkish campaign in Syria with nationalist and militarist slogans, calling every Turkish soldier fallen in battle a martyr.

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Mr Erdogan earlier this month said troops would also move east to Manbij - where unlike Afrin there is a USA military presence.

Nationalist sentiment, including dressing children in military uniforms, has been high as Turkey clashes with Syrian Kurds.

. He vows to protect Turkey's borders and to fight terrorism, and rallies popular support for the war, listing the number of enemies killed and commending the nation's martyrs.

'The mindset that abuses children by promising them death will lose, ' the party said in a tweet. "Oh my God, I am shocked".

The mainstream press, which has been increasingly under the thumb of the government, did not focus on the girl's tears.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticised for telling a young girl dressed in a military uniform that she would be honoured if she were "martyred" for Turkey.

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