Emine Erdogan’s Hermes handbag in focus after French boycott
Turkish social media users have criticised Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdoğan, after a photograph of her carrying a $50,000 French-made Hermes handbag resurfaced online.
“After Tayyip Erdoğan calls for a boycott of French goods, we expect Emine Sultan to burn her French-made bags in Taksim Square and show her support #EmperorHasNoClothes”, user @Who98408150 said on Twitter.
Tayyip Erdoğan, Fransız mallarını boykot çağrısı yaptıktan sonra Emine Sultanın Fransız malı çantalarını Taksim Meydanında yakıp desteğini göstermesini bekliyoruz... #kralcıplak pic.twitter.com/tagsSv1anh— Who? (@Who98408150) October 26, 2020
The call echoed Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who suggested that the First Lady should be the first to boycott France by burning her handbag.
A spokesperson from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) responded to this suggestion by claiming that the call demonstrated “violence against women”.
AKP spokesperson deemed CHP leader call on First Lady Emine Erdoğan to burn her Hermes handbag following calls to boycott French goods “violence against women.” https://t.co/TcBN5tHHfY— Fouad Gandoul (@Fgandoul) October 28, 2020
Back in June 2020, when the photos of the First Lady with the Hermes handbag had first been published, journalist Ender İmrek had appeared in court accused of insulting the President’s wife, “by not attributing nice qualities to her”, according to Duvar.
“This is a crime that doesn’t exist. According to the indictment, not praising Emine Erdoğan is equal to insulting her,” İmrek said in the court hearing.
Journalist Ender İmrek appeared in court on 24 June 2020 for “insulting” First Lady Emine Erdoğan by criticising her for using a Hermes handbag worth $50,000. Maybe @RTErdogan started the 🇫🇷 boycott so he doesn't have to buy her expensive things😆https://t.co/2ZM39Tf4Ot— Tatevik Grigorian (@TatevikGrigoria) October 27, 2020
Some social media users also pointed out that Turkish Airlines was about to take delivery of its first Airbus A350. Airbus is a French company.
GREAT time for @TurkishAirlines to take delivery of very first Airbus (🇫🇷) A350. Erdogan wants Turks to boycott French goods as spat continues. What do they do with the plane? Chuck it in the Bosphorus?— Sam Morgan (@SamJamesMorgan) October 26, 2020
A Turkish factchecking platform also pointed out that the winter flu vaccine used in Turkey is made by the French company Sanofi Pasteur.
✅ İddia doğru.— Doğruluk Payı (@dogrulukpayicom) October 27, 2020
Sağlık Bakanlığı listelerine göre sadece "Vaxigrip Tetra" isimli grip aşısı temin ediliyor. Bu aşı da Fransa menşeili Sanofi Pasteur markasına ait.
🔗 https://t.co/X3pHo9BYb7 pic.twitter.com/OHJrcwJumL
With the Turkish Lira continuing to depreciate against global currencies, many users pointed out that Turkey’s economic crisis already makes it difficult for people to buy imported French goods.
Journalist Amberin Zaman, writing for Al-Monitor, said that the war of words was a distraction from Turkey’s real problems, which are economic.
🇹🇷🇫🇷🇪🇺@RTErdogan keeps up his tirades against the West and @EmmanuelMacron for a fourth day running as Turkish lira continues to fall with comment from the venerable @MarcPierini1 https://t.co/pxAJ7TYLJU— Amberin Zaman (@amberinzaman) October 26, 2020
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan responded to the call from opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu for the First Lady to burn her Hermes handbag, saying,
“If you have a tiny bit of heart, talk about me. Don't talk about my wife. What kind of politician are you? If you're looking for a bag to burn, there are many White Turks with you.”
Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan'dan Kılıçdaroğlu'na 'çanta' yanıtı: Sende zerre kadar yürek varsa benimle ilgili konuş. Eşimle ilgili konuşma. Sen ne biçim siyasetçisin ya? Yakılacak çanta arıyorsan senin yanındaki Beyaz Türklerde çanta çokhttps://t.co/SZKwo0ygah pic.twitter.com/rHFiON8neh— BBC News Türkçe (@bbcturkce) October 28, 2020
‘White Turk’ is an expression used to denote richer, more European facing Turkish people, as opposed to the ‘black Turks’ of Anatolia, who tend to be poorer, more working class, and more religious.