Turkish president criticized for speaking of martyrdom for small girl

Turkey's president to start Africa tour of Algeria Mauritania Senegal and Mali
Turkish President Recep Erdogan slammed for saying child would be 'martyred' for country
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02 March, 2018

Erdogan called the girl, who was wearing a military-style outfit and a maroon beret, on stage. If she becomes a martyr, God willing, this flag will be draped on her. The Turkish leader used the occasion to whip up public support for the ongoing military operation targeting Kurdish militias in Syria - and to remind those who have completed their service but still had "active mobilization orders" to be ready to be recruited again if the situation requires. She did, although the attention apparently made her uncomfortable, judging by her sobbing.

After trying to comfort the girl by kissing her on both cheeks, Mr Erdogan told the crowd: "She has the Turkish flag in her pocket. Girl, what are you doing there?" he called out.

Algeria's oil and gas company Sonatrach has agreed with Turkish firms Ronesans and Bayegan to build a petrochemical facility worth $1 billion in Turkey, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

The confused girl only answered: "Yes".

Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited the girl on stage on Saturday (Sunday NZT) during a televised meeting for his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party.

The freakish scene was accompanied by the party members" cheers "Chief! "Take us to Afrin!" in reference to an offensive launched by Turkey on January 20 in northwestern Syria.

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His speech attracted criticism, with some deeming it as "child abuse" and others deeming it as a celebration of death.

Since 2004, Erdogan has paid official visits to 24 African countries, spearheading the signings of numerous bilateral pacts.

Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for three decades.

Children have been increasingly spotted at Turkish nationalist events.

On Monday (Tuesday NZT), Turkey sent special forces to the Afrin region after Ankara said a United Nations resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire throughout Syria did not apply to its offensive.

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