Since Prime Minister Erdoğan is once again in the news for all the wrong reasons and since my previous Erdoğan news quiz was one of my all-time favorite posts to write, it’s time for another news quiz centered around everyone’s favorite opinionated world leader. Unlike the last one, where readers were asked to identify which absurd story was in fact true, this one is a straight old-fashioned multiple question game.
Question 1: In defending his response to the Soma mining disaster, Erdoğan declared that he had gone back into British history and found plenty of deaths from mine accidents. In what year did the earliest British disaster that he cited take place?
Question 2: Following his speech in Soma, Erdoğan was confronted with a group of angry protestors and was forced to take shelter in a nearby supermarket. While there, what did he do?
A. Replaced all of the rakı on the store shelves with ayran, which he has famously claimed is Turkey’s true national drink
B. Drank a beer to calm his nerves since he thought that he was shielded from the cameras by his security team
C. Spotted a poster of Fetullah Gülen and immediately called the store’s owner an agitator and told him to “run to your master in Pennsylvania”
D. Told a booing protestor to come closer and boo him to his face, and then punched him
Question 3: A picture of Erdoğan adviser Yusuf Yerkel kicking a protestor being held down by two special forces soldiers in Soma has sparked widespread outrage and calls for Yerkel’s immediate resignation. What prompted Yerkel to kick the protestor?
A. The protestor had kicked Yerkel
B. The protestor had kicked Yerkel’s car
C. The protestor had insulted Yerkel’s mother
D. Yerkel claimed that the protestor looked like “an Alevi terrorist working on behalf of the interest rate lobby”
Question 4: Yerkel was previously a doctoral student at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London before dropping out. While there, how did he describe his research?
A. Rather than employing traditional geopolitics, I will deploy a critical geopolitical discourse in a way that enables us to see how both states know, categorize and make sense of world politics which is primarily derived by interpretative cultural practice.
B. I will examine the ontological origins of the New Turkey and demonstrate how the era of military tutelage imposed an autocratic pathway that could only be disrupted by the synthesis of democracy and culture ushered in by the 2002 election that brought the AKP to power.
C. Instead of analyzing Turkish foreign policy as a particular entity, I will conceive of it as part of a global axiology that locates Turkey within a multicultural framework and reveals a tautological weltenschauung informing Turkey’s growing geopolitical influence.
D. I will demonstrate the most effective way to beat the shit out of defenseless protestors.
Question 5: This is not the first time that Erdoğan or people in his inner circle have been associated with violence, rhetorical or otherwise. Before the recent municipal elections, what did Erdoğan publicly urge voters to do?
A. He called on Kurdish voters to “cut off the heads” of Kurdish insurgents by voting for the AKP
B. He demanded that loyal Turks round up “foreign infiltrators” and “put them in their place”
C. He urged his supporters to vote for the AKP and deal the Gülenists “an Ottoman slap” at the ballot box
D. After criticizing and taunting a BBC journalist at a rally, he told the crowd to “show this foreign journalist what happens to those who insult the great nation of Turkey.”
Question 6: After which of the following events did Erdoğan publicly cry on television?
A. The Soma mine disaster
B. The Roboski, or Uludere, airstrike, in which the Turkish military killed 34 civilians in an airstrike whom it mistakenly believed to be PKK fighters
C. The August 2011 siege of Hama, during which the Syrian army killed around 200 civilians
D. Upon hearing the farewell letter that Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagy wrote to his daughter, who was killed by the Egyptian Army during a pro-Morsi protest.
Good luck to all those playing the quiz! I’ll post the answers in the comments.