Turkish Gov't Demands US Embassy Apologize For 'Liking' A Tweet The Turkish Gov't Didn't Like

from the adults-in-room-capitulate-to-child.-details-at-11. dept

The government with the thinnest skin is at it again. Turkey can't handle being criticized in even the slightest way -- not after installing Recep "Gollum" Erdogan as president. A very, very long list of well-earned criticisms has led to an equally long list of retaliatory actions against the president's critics, which has included the misuse of other countries' laws to secure punishment of non-citizens and the jailing of of journalists declared to be terrorists by President Erdogan's government.

The government that can't visit other nations without beating up the locals recently decided it needed to have a little one-on-one time with a US diplomat who interacted with a tweet the Turkish government didn't like.

Turkey summoned a top American diplomat Sunday after the U.S. Embassy's official Twitter account "liked" a tweet that said the people of Turkey should prepare for a political era without the leader of Turkey's national party, who is reportedly ill.

The Foreign Ministry said the U.S. charge d'affaires Jeffrey Hovenier was summoned despite an embassy statement that said its Twitter account had liked "an unrelated post in error," and apologized.

The tweet, written by a Turkish journalist Erdogan wants to throw in jail, suggested nationalist leader Devlet Bahceli might die soon. Apparently the Turkish government decided it wasn't enough to hate on the tweet and its tweeter. So, it decided to scroll down the list of people who had interacted with the tweet and see if it couldn't find some way to express its displeasure.

This in itself is ridiculous. Apparently unaware of the fact that retweets and likes aren't always endorsements, the Turkish government decided to make itself look like even more of an easily-bruised dictatorship by demanding a US diplomat apologize for pressing a button on social media. Unfortunately, the ridiculousness doesn't end there. The US embassy decided to encourage this clownish thuggery by apologizing a second time for liking a tweet.

"We do not associate ourselves with Ergun Babahan nor do we endorse or agree with the content of his tweet," the embassy's second apology read. "We reiterate our regret for this error."

Thanks. That ought to keep Erdogan in line. I realize we're somewhat reliant on Turkey thanks to our decision to back combatants in a war being fought in Syria, but pacifying an impetuous child dressed in a president's suit is something we shouldn't even be doing domestically, much less halfway around the world. We're the country of free speech. Let's try to use it now and then when idiots start demanding apologies for things they have no right to be demanding apologies for.

Filed Under: diplomacy, diplomat, free speech, jeffrey hovenier, likes, recep tayyip erdogan, thin skin, us embassy

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 8:51am


    Then they will just use something else to be idiots. The platform isn't necessarily the problem - there's plenty of polite, good natured insightful conversation on Twitter, even if it's sometimes as a springboard to somewhere not restricted by character limit. Meanwhile, the likes of Ergodan and Trump aren't going to stop being lily-livered, thin skinned, hateful creatures by using a different platform to air their ideas.

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