President Recep Erdogan of Turkey has been criticized after telling a six-year-old girl that she would be honored if “martyred” in fighting, with the remarks regarded as “child abuse” by some.
“Her Turkish flag is in her pocket … If she’s martyred, she will be wrapped with it, God willing,” he told the weeping child during a congress of his AK Party in Southern city of Kahramanmaras over the weekend.
In the broadcast event, the girl dressed in military uniform and was invited by Erdogan to the stage.
It remains unclear who she is and why she was wearing like a soldier.
“Glorifying children’s deaths? Promoting child soldiers? Sick.” Andrew Stroehlein tweeted.
Russian TV network RT called Erdogan’s remarks “a bizarre act of patriotism”.
Erdogan made the speech in the party event attempting to boost confidence in the fight in Syria, as Turkish forces have been in mire on the battle ground.
Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin rejected the possibility of any political dialogue between Ankara and Damascus, which is suggested by Russia.
On Saturday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding a ceasefire for at least 30 days across Syria to allow humanitarian access and urgent medical evacuations.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear Kurdish militia People’s Protection Units from Syria’s Afrin.
Ankara sees the YPG to be the Syrian affiliates of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a terrorist organization listed by Turkey, the U. S. and the EU. (Xinhua/NAN)