1 SEPTEMBER 2013
He gave his marching orders in a speech to his party faithful on El Eid after fasting Ramadan. Now he is demanding Turkish women deliver at least
three babies each. He responded to an outcry of protests by pointing out that other Presidents
make demands on their own people, so why not "Recep Tayyip Erdogan?" By now, he is referring to himself in the Third Person, like an Ottoman Sultan
or Seljuk Emperor. Yet the comparison to Presidents is new, perhaps because he was pissed off when Syria's file was taken away recently from him and
handed to the wily Prince Bandar. Or perhaps the Dr. Albright Stonebridge Group could no more deliver further accolades on an exclusive strategic
partnership. How could anyone help when the touted moderate prominent Islamist leader seemed overwhelmed by his fellow Brothers in Cairo and
Tunis? Instead of moderating them, they inflamed him. From zero problems with neighbors to zero influence. He has been referring to Sultan Mohammed and
Emir Erslan rulers. A self-comparison to a mere President, however important, is a real comedown.
Some things must have gone wrong recently. Perhaps the truly talented, popular, experienced and brilliant Tayyip has been shocked by setbacks
of his regional friends compounded by a brutal inclination by the armed groups he facilitated from Chechnya, Tunisia, Libya, Pakistan and
elsewhere to run amok in Syria rather than adhere to Ankara's instructions. Or maybe, too much vapour has gone to his usually sensible head. Some of
his own party leaders are already fed up with his tirades.
It's not too late, however. Perhaps the once gracious, enlightened and pragmatic Recap Tayyip Erdogan will wake up and smell the Turkish