By Jirair Tutunjian, Toronto, 11 April 2021
SCENE : Four grim and bulky thugs in shiny, dark suits escort a fifth man into a doctor’s consulting room. The fifth man has pasty complexion, mouse-colored hair and is shifty-eyed. He looks like a dyspeptic embalmer and someone who has never been loved. His rectangular mustache looks sprayed.
Thug 1: Dr. Bilmaz, where do you hide your tape recorder?
Doctor: I removed it. I didn’t want to tape His Excellency’s visit.
Thug 2: We still want it.
Doctor: (Hands recorder). Here.
Thug 1: For your sake, Bilmaz, I hope you are not lying.
Doctor: In the name of Allah, this is my only recorder.
Fifth Man: You shouldn’t take Allah’s name in vain.
Doctor: I’m sorry, Your Excellency. It’s a great honor to meet Your Excellency (kisses Erdogan’s hand). Please take a seat, Your Excellency. This is the greatest day of my life.
Erdogan: Men, wait outside. (Turns to doctor) Don’t you have a couch? I thought you all had couches.
Doctor: You are right, my Lord (pulls couch from behind the dresser). What can I do for the greatest living Turk, Your Excellency, Mr. President-for-Life?
Erdogan: Are you implying there are greater Turks than me but who are dead?
Doctor: No, no. You are greater than Mustafa Kemal …Suleiman the Magnificent.
Erdogan: I’m glad you didn’t say ‘Ataturk’. Phew, Father of the Turks! The arrogance of the syphilitic, whoring Donme drunk.
Doctor: What can I do for Your Excellency?
Erdogan: ‘Kemal’ was bestowed on him by his male teacher…for his green eyes? Of the three—Mustafa, Kemal, and Ataturk–only Mustafa is genuine.
Doctor: There have always been unsavory stories about Mustafa. Please tell me Lord what do I owe the honor of your exalted visit?
Erdogan: I can’t sleep. Mustafa’s images crowd my nightmares.
Doctor: We all have those nightmares. Mustafa’s statues, busts, and photos are ubiquitous. I’m certain there will be more of your image-when you leave the scene.
Erdogan: Are you hoping I would be assassinated?
Doctor: We would become orphans if, Allah forbid, you leave us. It would be the saddest day in the history of the Turks.
Erdogan: In my nightmares, I see floating in the air medals he received. Nobody has given me medals, except for Aliyev but that henpecked imbecile doesn’t count. I also see floating in the air two TIME magazines with his photos on the covers. No matter what I do, I’m still shadowed by damned Donme Mustafa’s ghosts. I’m also being buzzed by that irritating old song “Ya Mustafa, Ya Mustafa.”
Doctor: But you too made the TIME cover.
Erdogan: Just once and my photo made me puke. I looked like Bella Lugosi with mustache.
Doctor: You shouldn’t be impressed by the Salonikan. You are a good Muslim Turk. He was a Donme. He drank half-a-a litre of raki a day and died relatively young… syphilis of the brain. While you are loyal to your wife, Mustafa slept with floozies, including that Hollywood whore Ja Ja Gabori.
Erdogan: He lived with some pachavara who had the title of personal assistant. How can Turks worship a man who was not man enough to have a single offspring? Allah has blessed me with four children. How can Turks worship a man who choked Islam, imported an infidel alphabet, destroyed the Ottoman Empire, and adopted an Armenian girl?
Doctor: But he drove out the infidel armies and established the republic.
Erdogan: You dare contradict me? I have jailed men who were thousands times better than you. I’ve jailed 12-year-olds for insulting me on Twitcher. I will not warn you again. He ruled Turkey for 18 years. This is my 18th year. I am 57. Inshallah I will rule for fifty years. He had all the advantages…his father was effendi and mother khanem. I was born in Kasimpasha—Istanbul’s poorest neighborhood. His parents spoiled him: my father used to beat me. I hate them…I hate them…I hate them (shrieks and loosens his tie as pink blush climbs from his throat).
Doctor: Who do you hate?
Erdogan: Mustafa, his parents, my parents, professors, journalists, fashionable people, White Turks, Gulen, e-mail, Assad, feminists, the homosexual mafia, handsome people, secularists, my old classmates, the girls who rejected me, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Arabs, Jews, Europeans and most Americans. I hate them, I hate them (bubbles pop from his thin lips).
Doctor: (Rushes and kisses Erdogan’s trembling hand). I am sorry, Your Excellency. May Sheitan cut my tongue for repeating lies about Mustafa’s bravery. It was our army which drove out the infidel Ingleez and French.
Erdogan: What did he do? Nothing. For nearly twenty years he posed, smoked, drank, and slept around. He wore a black cloak which made him look like Dracula. They say he made the country homogenous. So, why do we still have Greeks, Kurds…and Armenians? He gave the ‘Ataturk’ title to himself. I’m a gentleman: although I hate Armenians, I agreed to name Istanbul’s new airport Sabiha Gokcen. That’s the name of the Armenian girl Mustafa adopted.
Doctor: He was ‘Ataturk’ for fifteen years. You will be “The Greatest Turk” even after you are gone.
Erdogan: (Turning pale) For a psychiatrist, you don’t listen well. You are again hinting that my days are numbered. You have been reading the fake news that I have cancer… and am epileptic.
Doctor: Fake news travels fast. You look as hale as our pehlivans.
Erdogan: They say I’m a tyrant. We Turks have no time for namby-pamby democracy. I threw so-called journalists in jail because they lied. They were anti-Turk, anti-Islam, and anti-me. They say I stole money. They say I’m a secret Greek, Georgian… Bulgarian. Thank Allah... they didn’t say I’m secret Armenian.
Doctor: Haram. There’s no one more Turk than you. You restored our pride.
Erdogan: What did Mustafa do? He stole Antakya from the Syrians. He died in drunken stupor. His liver couldn’t take the raki anymore. He died in Dolmabahce…a palace built by a gavoor Armenian. I built the biggest presidential palace in the world. I intimidate half the world. Arabs, Greeks and Kurds tremble; Armenians and Yahoodis turn pale when I purse my lips. Putin kisses my hand. That dowdy German partridge—what’s her name? Trump was scared I would grab his hotels. This new U.S president… Imam Bayenden (chuckles) will learn he can’t push me. I silenced the moronic macaroni Macron. The Iranians and the Saudis are afraid of me. General Fifi…Sisi.. .Whatever… of Egypt trembles when he hears my name.
Doctor: Every word you say should be framed, my Lord. School children should repeat them every morning.
Erdogan: Traitors say I’m narcissist and a psychopath, delusional and insecure. Just because I built a 1,150-room Presidential Palace. They say it cost $650 million. It only cost $625 million. And where did Mustafa live? In a villa built by a gavoor Ermeni. I rescued Turkey from that indignity. I built the world’s biggest mosque: it can accommodate 67,000. Saudi Arabia has the world’s biggest mosque. It accommodates 2 million. My enemies think because Wall Street bankrupted us, I will surrender to them]. Just you wait when I attack Greece, Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt…and Armenia. The Turanic Caliphate is no dream. We will establish an empire from Vienna to the Great Wall of China. We shall liberate our brother Uyghurs. (Foam oozes from his thin lips. He looks as if he will get airsick)
Doctors: Here’s tissue paper.
Erdogan: I’m … I’m fine.
Doctor: Yes…Your Excellency.
Erdogan: Are you married?
Erdogan: Is she obedient?
Doctor: We respect each other.
Erdogan: So, you’re henpecked. If she were a good Muslim, she wouldn’t run your life. What do you do in the evening?
Doctor: We listen to music.
Erdogan: Whose songs?
Doctor: Zeki Muran.
Erdogan: (Jumps from couch). It was obvious from the moment I stretched here that you’re homosexual. Guards! [four goons, armed with Uzis, crash into the room]. Take this filthy specimen to jail.
Doctor: If you jail all the homosexual artists, the country would become a cultural Kalahari.
Erdogan: Better Kalahari than the sewer. [Turns to the goons] Tell the receptionist to zip her mouth or else she we will become toy girl to my mercenaries.
Doctor: You jail me because I like Muran songs?
Erdogan: Bilmaz, you will be jailed because you know too much. Subhan Allah, I already feel much better.