The Turkish President tried to assure a weeping young girl in military uniform that she will be honored if killed in battle.
“She has a Turkish flag in her pocket too… If she’s martyred, they’ll lay a flag on her, God willing.”
Tayyip Erdogan made that comment live on television in front of hundreds of cheering supporters who urged him to continue with the military offensive in the northern Afrin region in Syria.
He also urged the little girl to stay “ready for anything.”
His actions sparked a massive outrage from critics who called him out for using (abusing) a child for propaganda purposes.
The BBC reported that the 5-year-old girl caught the president`s attention because she was dressed like a soldier. After spotting her in the crowd, he invited her on stage.
‘Look what you see here! Girl, what are you doing here? We have our maroon berets here, but maroon berets never cry,”- (referring to her beret that is worn by the Turkish Special Operations Forces.)
The Turkish military is currently fighting in northern Syria in the region of Afrin.
According to Turkey they are protecting its southern border from “terrorist.”
His words sparked a massive outrage on social media and he was condemned by many users for child abuse, especially for saying “God willing” to the death of a child.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also criticized the president`s actions by tweeting:
“The mindset that abuses children by promising them death will lose.”