Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday promised to honor a young girl with the Turkish flag if she were to be martyred, during a public speech. President Erdoğan invited a little girl dressed as a soldier to the podium. “If she is martyred, we will honor her with the flag, God willing,” Erdoğan said.
His supporters cheered “Chief! Take us to Afrin!“, in reference to Turkey’s operations against Kurdish fighters in Syria’s northern Afrin region. The speech has been described as “child abuse” and a glorification of death. It is not the first time that Mr Erdogan’s comments on martyrdom have caused controversy in Turkey, where every soldier or police officer killed on duty is considered a “martyr”, says BBC Turkish’s Onur Erem.