Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Satire magazine mocks President Erdoğan’s comments that he’s less of a sultan, more like the British Queen


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been morphed into Queen Elizabeth II on the front cover of this month’s Red Dergisi. It follows claims by the President that the UK was a good example for his publicly stated aim of turning Turkey from a Parliamentary into a Presidential system of governance.

The Turkish satire magazine homed in on comments made by the Turkish President during an interview on state broadcaster TRT last month. In a question and answer session with Hürriyet writer Akif Beki, Erdoğan sought to brush off criticism about his plans to expand his presidential role, which opponents claim are simply efforts to amass sultan-like powers at the expense of democracy.

Erdoğan mistakenly asserted that Britain is a partial presidency with power residing in the British monarch: “In my opinion, even Britain is a semi-presidency, with the Queen the dominant element there” (“Bana göre İngiltere bile bir yarı başkanlıktır, hakim olan unsur orada kraliçedir”).

While the UK is a constitutional monarchy, power actually rests with Parliament and its hereditary monarch wields only symbolic power. Erdoğan’s error was highlighted by various media around the world including Red Dergisi.

In circulation since 2006, Red is a monthly publication that covers topical local and global political and social issues through a socialist lens. Its satirical style is most evident through its bold front covers, often propelling the magazine and its featured topic into the Turkish mainstream.   

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