May 11 2018

Turkish journalist asks Queen Elizabeth to say ‘tamam’ to Erdoğan

Turkey’s famous journalist and author Ece Temelkuran politely requested from Queen Elizabeth II to say ‘tamam [enough]’ to Turkish president Erdoğan during their meeting next week, in her ironic open letter published in the Guardian on Friday. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made waves on Tuesday, saying “If one day our nation says enough, at that time we will stand aside.” The keyword “T A M A M” (E N O U G H) blew up on Twitter in response, and more than 2 million tweets were posted during the day.

Turkey’s President Erdoğan is to meet Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May on his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom from Sunday to Tuesday next week. Erdoğan will also participate the annual bilateral “Tatlı Dil Forum”, a day bringing together various businessmen and politicians from both Turkey and the United Kingdom.

In her open letter, Temelkuran shared her perspective on the threats to democracies worldwide, reminding the rise of fascism in Europe and the second world war. She also described the situation in Turkey, where early elections are to take place on June 24, through which Erdoğan wants to consolidate his power as the sole ruler of the country, according to Temelkuran. 

“As the people of Turkey who happened to fancy democracy over authoritarianism, we decided that if we say tamam enough times, maybe he would understand and give it up,” Temelkuran said.

“So here is my polite request. Would you mind terribly saying tamam when Mr Erdoğan comes into your presence? Since you also have a palace, your words might resonate with him more than his own people’s,” Temelkuran continued.

She noted that despite the political differences between her and the Queen, she made that request as she thought the Queen were among the few people who would remember the 1940s and “how the political integrity of democratic nations and their ethical response to authoritarianism had once played an important role in world politics.”

“If you don’t want to take the risk of damaging your political neutrality, you can always use the word tamam when the tea is poured, and you have had enough. I think the message would be clear,” Temelkuran concluded.