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When The Onion Edits Turkish PM's Speeches

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Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan spoke at a Ramadan dinner in Ankara on Wednesday, criticizing the opposition for relying upon provocation and slander.

According to Erdogan, latest reports of Islamist attacks on secular Turks who don't observe the Ramadan fast are just lies.

"One young man went to the police center and filed a complaint, arguing that he was attacked by a mob because he was not fasting. Then, the police said: 'Brother, Ramadan (the Islamic month of fasting) will start tomorrow. So, come here and enjoy a tea with us.'"

Turkish media reported that this incident had actually never happened. The story was all made up on July 8 by "GAH", one of the Turkish equivalents of The Onion. It was political satire. Just a joke...

A certain pro-government social media activist was probably the first person who wrongfully thought that the story was authentic, carrying it to pro-government networks which would make it end up in Erdogan's speech as a presumed fact.

Critics say Erdogan tried to polarize the society again even when there was nobody complaining about "Ramadan attacks" which didn't occur this year!

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During the first AKP government (2003-2007), Erdogan's speechwriters were generally brilliant. As Turkey's liberal progress got slower and its desire to push for the EU membership got weaker, so did Erdogan's speeches.

Aydin Unal, who was Erdogan's speechwriter until late last year and still works as his official chronicler, is a notorious example.

In the face of the Gezi Park protests, Unal had tweeted that "it's time for legitimate attacks" and encouraged the machete-wielding men who assaulted demonstrators in Taksim, Istanbul.

Considering the calibre of his reshuffled cabinet of aides and advisors, it's no surprise that Erdogan's tone is increasingly polarizing and defiant.

Even a pro-government columnist recently criticized Erdogan's decision to appoint a controversial TV pundit as his chief advisor. "Tell me your advisors and I'll tell you who you are," Nazli Ilicak said.

After all, Yigit Bulut, Erdogan's new chief advisor, is known as Turkey's "conspiracy-theorist-in-chief" in the words of Benjamin Harvey, Turkey Bureau Chief for Bloomberg.

Hence, Erdogan blamed "the interest rate lobby" for provoking the Gezi Park protests and the pro-government media "clarified" that  "the lobby is a coalition of Jewish financiers associated with both Opus Dei and Illuminati"!

But wait...

With such advisors and speechwriters, who needs enemies?