By Jirair Tutunjian, Toronto, 6 March 2020
Normally cool, calm and collected, His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey (“Turkiye” as he likes to call it) is irate, stormy, and fulminating these days. A week ago, at the Sons of Hoja Nassreddin Fraternity’s 700th Annual Convention in Afyonkarahisar, the outraged and uncharacteristically ruffled president snatched the TV and radio microphones from their stand and shouted at his Grey Wolf followers: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Viewers thought the humorless dictator was doing an impression of Peter Finch in the 1976 movie “Network” but the fascist-fundamentalist leader hasn’t been to the movies in decades because movie-going is immoral.
Why is the normally placid, circumspect, and softly-spoken leader of Turkey ruffled these days? Is it because President Assad of Syria will not listen to his advice and resign? Is it because former friends (Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran) don’t like Turkey anymore? Is it because his friend Omar Ahmed Osman el-Bashir of Sudan will face the International Court of Justice for committing genocide? Or is it because Syria recognized the Armenian Genocide while Jordan’s king made an official visit to Armenia?
Erdogan’s blood pressure has gone up to 200/140 for a far more serious reason. Sultan manqué Erdogan is angry at two chocolate bars: Big Turk and Turkish Delight. The first is manufactured by Nestlé while the second by Cadbury Australia. Big Turk has been manufactured since 1974 and Turkish Delight for many decades before that. Erdogan wants to sue the two companies for not giving him royalties for every chocolate bar sold. After all, he says he is Big Turk and Turkish Delight rolled into one. Since they are using his nicknames, they owe him millions of dollars, says the Prime Minister Tayyip (“Good” in Arabic). Erdogan, who wants to replace the drunkard and syphilitic Ataturk as the Father of the Turks, has put his platoon of lawyers in the dog house for telling him (gently) that he has no case.
But the man who launches wars left and right, oppresses millions of Kurds in Turkey and Syria, threatens heads of states, insults Europe, makes no secret that he had tossed President Trump’s letter in the garbage bin, sleeps with dictators, two-times Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, has said Armenians were an Anatolian nomadic people, blackmails Europe by flooding the Greek border with “refugees”, promises to block the transit of Israeli natural gas to Europe, sends his army to Libya to fight in the civil war there, shuts down newspapers and jails more than seventy journalists (the most in the world) will not listen to his faint-hearted lawyers who don’t know the ways of the world.
Erdogan has told his lawyers that if Nestlé and Cadbury ignore his demands, he will declare war on Switzerland where Nestlé is headquartered. He will not bother with Australia –the home of Turkish Delight—because his drones can’t fly all the way to Down Under. Erdogan says Switzerland is next-door to Austria—a country the Turks almost conquered twice. Addressing his army, Erdogan said: “Next year in Chamonix.” Chamonix is in France.
The far-sighted Big Turk has already drafted a blue-print of his plans: when he conquers Switzerland and appropriates Nestlé, he would merge that company and other Swiss chocolate companies (Toblerone, Lindt, Milka, etc.) into Godiva, which is owned by the Yildiz Holding Turkish conglomerate. But right now, the Big Turk is busy re-designing the Swiss flag which has the infidel white crucifix at its centre.
It’s a good thing Erdogan doesn’t know that on candy shelves around the world there are candies named NUTBAR, FLAKE, and AIRHEAD.