Storm in the Turkish Bazaar

In the last few days the “Insulting Erdogan” row has expanded to include the Netherlands as well as Germany. Our Dutch correspondent H. Numan has compiled a report on the latest goings-on.

Note: Translated vulgarities are included in this post. Some have been elided with asterisks; others haven’t. For the sake of sensitive readers, the unelided naughtiness has been placed below the jump.

Storm in the Turkish bazaar
by H. Numan

Yesterday the journalist Ebru Emar was arrested by the Turkish police. She holds dual nationality: Dutch and Turkish. Unlike 99% of her countrymen with dual passports, she is rather outspoken about it, not in favor. Nor is she a fan of Erdogan’s. She wrote critically about Turkey, Turkish culture and the great Erdogan himself no less. For those reasons she was arrested. The first thing the police did was drag her into a hospital, to get written confirmation she was not mistreated. I wonder: is that standard Turkish police procedure? Or something they only do when they arrest foreign journalists? What happens after they got that confirmation? Questions, questions…

The Dutch prime minister has tweeted he will closely monitor this case, and might even ask the Turkish ambassador some strict questions. If Erdogan doesn’t object to that, of course. Ebru was released from imprisonment, but is not allowed to leave the country.

Why was she arrested? you probably ask. Well, last week the Turkish consulate opened a complaint site. They advertised — in Turkish — in Dutch newspapers soliciting information on derogatory remarks about the Turkish president. When asked by the media and later the government they claimed ‘it was a misunderstanding’, they were merely collecting general information.

A week previously Jan Boehmermann, a German comedian, said that Erdogan has intercourse with goats. This is the standard insult of muslims in both Germany and Holland: to address them with their favorite past-time. Geitenneukers, or goatf***ers in English. The recipients quite understand, and are suitably mortally offended. Theo van Gogh was murdered only after he called muslims goatf***ers in public on TV. He would have been murdered anyway, but this might very well be what drove Mohammed Bouyeri over the edge.

Erdogan went ballistic and demanded this comedian be prosecuted. Angela Merkel duly allowed that, and lost (again) a lot of votes over it. Under German law comedians and cartoonists are normally allowed to do pretty much what they want. The chancellor must decide in case of insult to a foreign head of state. The same principle works more or less also under Dutch law, but individuals may file complaints to the police (as happened in the current Wilders case).

Hans Teeuwen is a very popular Dutch comedian and very much outspoken about islam. Immediately after the Boehmermann row started he was interviewed. In the interview Hans said that he went to Turkey, long time ago, and visited a boys’ bordello. There he picked the then-young Erdogan for a blowjob and didn’t get one. He demanded satisfaction (pun intended)!

A Turkish (“Dutch”) lawyer now wants to file criminal charges for insulting a foreign head of state, as Hans Teeuwen was interviewed at home and not performing on stage. Therefore, he was not acting as a comedian but expressing his opinion and insulting Erdogan. On the other hand, in that case a court should inquire as to the earlier professions held by the president of Turkey. Did or did he not work as a boy prostitute in the bordello in Istanbul? Does he really want that for his poor insulted president?

What one emphatically does not hear is that “Dutch” Turkish citizens are overjoyed by the arrest of Ebru Emar. Very few news media pay attention to the flood of Dutch-Turkish tweeters expressing their joy. I won’t go into detail, but wishing she’s locked up in an all-male prison where the cons can do whatever they want is one of the more subtle ones.

Dutch politicians haven’t said much (it’s weekend) about this arrest. Expect the usual half-hearted insincere responses from them, pending political persuasion. That means ‘Ebru had it coming!’ from the left, ‘Erdogan did the right thing; when will Hans Teeuwen be arrested?’ by D66, ‘Oh the horror! We have to hold a silent protest march!’ by CDA and VVD.*

There is a Turkish split-off of the labor party: two parliamentarians left the PvdA and formed ‘Denk’ or ‘Think’ in English. The labor party was not strong enough in condemning racism and insulting islam; that’s why they left. Denk is in essence a branch of Erdogan’s AKP party within the Dutch political system. This party wants both Boehmermann and Hans Teeuwen prosecuted, and to keep the ‘do not insult’ clause in the law. Kuzu is one of the most ferocious opponents of Wilders. In the Dutch parliament it’s not done to openly call a fellow parliamentarian Hitler; Kuzu does it on a daily basis. Denk’s program is exactly the same as the AKP program; it only differs in that it follows Dutch law and addresses some Dutch-Turkish issues. Let me put it this way: if the NSB (WW2 Dutch quislings) were as closely associated with the NSDAP as Denk is with the AKP party, it would have call itself not NSB but NSNAP.

Right after the Boehmermann row broke in Germany, the Dutch minister for Justice, van der Steur, announced the law protecting foreign heads of state would be revoked. He probably has to hurry doing that, otherwise “Dutch” Turkish lawyers will have a field day.

— H. Numan

* Key to the major Dutch political parties:

VVD   People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy
    Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie
PvdA   Labour Party
    Partij van de Arbeid
    Social democrats
PVV   Party for Freedom
    Partij voor de Vrijheid
    Classical liberal, Islam-critical
SP   Socialist Party
    Socialistische Partij
    Left-wing populists, former Maoists, to the left of communists
CDA   Christian Democratic Appeal
    Christen-Democratisch Appèl
    Christian democrats, center-right
D66   Democrats 66
    Politieke Partij Democraten 66
    Centrist social liberals
GL   GreenLeft
    Environmentalism plus hard left

14 thoughts on “Storm in the Turkish Bazaar

  1. Oh, good grief, what anti-Islamist can’t put up with profanity?! We’re not snowflakes! We’re fighting Islam and you think we might be offended? Seriously?

    • In general, we are a PG-13 blog, because the parents of homeschoolers allow their older children to come over here to further their education. We like that fact, and want to keep that segment of our audience.

  2. Since when are people responsible for breaking the laws of a foreign nation when in their own nation. Really? That is madness. Erdogan can do what he wants with his goats, but I’m not Turkish, in Turkey, would never want to return there; one holiday was one too many.

  3. Correction: “Denk”, the name of this Turkish (islamic!) party, dear Numan, is not the imperative “denk!”of the Dutch verb “denken” (: to think), but a Turkish word meaning something like “balance” or “equivalence”. With this name of their party, Kuzu and Ozturk pretend there is no justice, no equivalence for minorities in The Netherlands, and that they will strive to a situation where there is “denk” for all. Can you believe it! A political party in The Netherlands, in the “Tweede Kamer”, in parliament with a
    Turkish name!

  4. OK, so Erdogan is a narcissistic, paranoid Turkey! Consider yourself insulted you thin-skinned goat. 🙂
    To quote Harry Truman’s remark to Molotov, “I wouldn’t have said what I did if you hadn’t behaved as you had.”

  5. The “Spectator” magazine in the UK seems to have the best answer to Erdogan’s sensitivites:

    “Introducing ‘The President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition’ – £1000 prize to be won”

    [Douglas Murray in The Spectator] – I would also like to stress that the aim of the competition is to be as filthy and insulting as possible about Recep Erdogan. Rhymes with some political point might be considered, but will inevitably take second-place to works which mull (for example) solely on President Erdogan’s reputed fondness for goats or his notorious untrustworthiness in the vicinity of any public zoo.

  6. Erdogan’s claim on the portions of Thrace in Greece and Bulgaria have been forgotten. He is a mad man and like any Hitler should be mocked in satire. Imagine if this happened in America and [Obama] allowed the prosecution of an American comedian? I would not put it past [Obama] if he could get away with it.

    • Obama has basically already done what you describe. The imprisonment of the producer of the film that the Obama administration blamed for the incident in Benghazi. And, of course, he got away with it. He has had people murdered, you think false imprisonment was a stretch?

      We have not sunk as low as the UK with regard to free speech, but in the US free speech is enshrined whereas in the UK it is merely tolerated up to a point. Our stables are due for a cleaning.

  7. I think the second sentence of para 10 should read, “…insulting of Islam”, otherwise it’s contradictory.

  8. I announced this to the blog yesterday I guess or the day before The Spectator insulting Erdogan contest.
    Yesterday, I composed a poem and recited it to my husband. His immediate reaction was that it wasn’t foul enough to win a prize…
    Son #2 called in and I recited to him the poem. He said my poetry was juvenile and should work past “poop jokes” to win the prize. He directed me to “The Aristocrats” and said they are the most foul jokes he had ever heard and that I should study them…
    Well, I am not going to study them. I feel rather better about myself that I couldn’t possibly win this prize!
    Erdogan is a monster. He is destroying Turkey. Why are churches being seized by the gov’t? On what grounds?

    Recep is a monster
    He seizes churches because he wants ta
    The minorities must flee
    or he will shoot them with glee
    The Kurds better scatter
    Because the UN will do nothing about it!

  9. Erdogan is a president,
    or so he’d like to think.
    He pridefully sails through choppy waters,
    as if his ship don’t sink.

    he demands adulation
    from all who are under his sway,
    while starving his poor nation
    so that Islam can have its day.

    he sent his refugees to Europe
    to advance his caliphate,
    but now Europe is waking up
    but it just may be too late.

  10. Stresses and strain, opposition pain,
    Avoiding my downfall,
    Needing away from all

    I wandered, lonely in a cloud,
    Upon a barren mountainside,
    And saw a beautiful creature in shroud,
    I slipped,
    I fell,
    Oh bloody hell, ripped from my throat,
    By accident impaled a goat

    How cometh here I do so wonder,
    An accident, again – a blunder,
    But whilst here,
    Never fear,
    I see no sight of Vladimir

    Just once or twice, it feels so nice,
    Just in and out,
    Twist about,
    Then an almighty shout

    An accident I say,
    Honest to Akhbar,
    Its the Erdogan way.

  11. Erdogan had only one b***
    Cameron had two but very small
    Merkel had something similar
    But Mohammed had no b***s at all.

    An oldie but a goodie adapted for the current era.

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