Turkish President Tells Crying Little Girl She'll Be Honoured If She's 'Martyred'

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When he called her on stage, she started weeping. "She is ready for anything". "Girl, what are you doing there?" he called out.

Speaking at a meeting at the presidential palace on February 21, president Erdogan declared, making allusion to UAVs: "We will carry it a step further".

"She has the Turkish flag in her pocket", Erdogan told the crowd as he stood alongside the startled child.

The little girl replied, "Yes", as the crowd roared with war chants asking Erdogan to finish the job of conquering Afrin, a task which has proven unexpectedly hard for the Turkish military and allied Syrian militia.

Erdogan's critics pounced on his using children to boost the nationalist sentiment in the country.

The president's latest comments however do not appear to have dampened the enthusiasm of his supporters of him or of his Syria offensive - they do not appear concerned that Erdogan's own sons have evaded military service while he routinely emphasises the importance of martydom as a means of securing Turkey's future.

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Erdoğan said the plant at the economic zone would produce 450,000 tons of polypropylene per year and that the raw material will be provided by Algeria.

Another Turkish user wrote on Twitter, "It's a shame, it's very bad. We have our maroon berets here, but maroon berets never cry", the Turkish president told the child in an apparent attempt to calm her. The BBC notes that Erdogan has a troubling habit of portraying Turkish military and security actions as holy crusades and describing the dead as "martyrs".

His speech attracted criticism, with some deeming it as "child abuse" and others deeming it as a celebration of death.

Erdoğan added Algeria and Turkey remain determined to give necessary support to the business community to invest in the energy sector.

Maybe martyrdom isn't the best way to console a crying child. "Get serious", she said.

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