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Erdogan Labeled ‘Ottoman Snowflake’ After Filing Complaint Against American Scholar For ‘Insulting’ Tweets

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“Ottomon snowflake” — that’s what Turkey’s president is being called after he filed a nine-page legal complaint in Ankara on Friday against an American think tank scholar for publishing “insulting” tweets.

“For a man who depicts himself as a great leader on the world stage, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems fragile, an Ottoman snowflake,” wrote American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin after learning of the Turkish leader’s complaint.

On Friday, Erdogan asserted in court papers that Rubin has threatened the Turkish leader and his family on Twitter and through columns published online.

Erdogan also alleged that Rubin, a former Pentagon official, is a supporter of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania who Erdogan considers his greatest political foe.

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“Rubin’s illogical accusations and insulting tweets are not only a reflection of his hatred and anger toward President Erdoğan but also against the Turkish Republic,” reads the complaint from Erdogan, according to Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s state-controlled media outlet.

Erdogan cited various columns and tweets from Rubin, including one in which he alleged that Erdogan used the failed July 15 coup attempt “to purge society of political and ideological opponents.”

Erdogan has accused Gulen of masterminding that coup attempt and considers Gulen’s network of followers to be a terrorist organization. The U.S. government does not agree with that assessment, much to Erdogan’s displeasure.

In a blistering blog entry entitled “Oops, I hurt Erdogan’s feelings,” Rubin acknowledged criticizing Erdogan’s corruption and crackdown on political dissent. He also copped to suggesting that Erdogan is pushing Turkey down a path to ruin.


He denied being a supporter of Gulen, and noted that Erdogan’s followers have criticized him in the past for criticizing Gulen. Erdogan and Gulen were political allies until the pair cut ties in 2013 following a corruption investigation.

“Now, President Erdogan, here’s some advice: When you have truth on your side, you needn’t try to arrest or intimidate your opponents,” Rubin wrote.

“As for your case against me? I’m not alone. People aren’t stupid. You’re trying to show yourself as strong to your supporters, but such antics only expose you as weak.”

Erdogan has arrested tens of thousands of Turks and purged tens of thousands more from their jobs in the wake of the coup. More than 200 journalists who have been critical of the government have been jailed in recent months.


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