The Wankerer in Turkey


There was a young fellow from Ankara

Who was a terrific wankerer

Till he sowed his wild oats

With the help of a goat

But he didn’t even stop to thankera.

Now Foreign Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson’s winning poem in The Spectator describing Turkey’s President Erdoğan, which won Johnson a £1,000 earlier this year.

I still laugh every time I read this.  Any use of wanker is always funny.  But using it describing a once modernizing politician who has become an authoritarian thug is confusing. On the one hand it appears impolitic, but on the other hand humor is sometimes the best knife into the heart of a despot.  They are better at shooting down their own citizens than laughing off a joke.

If the coup fails, President Erdoğan will undoubtedly retaliate in a gruesome manner. He will reject the time honored tradition Winston Churchill articulated, “…in victory magnanimity.” Tyrants never understand events such as tonight’s coup are a sign of problem governance.  It is always some outside evil directed at the nation or the people, not the tyrant’s policies.

The killing of Kurds will continue.  The denial of genocide in Armenia will continue. The power politics on the Syrian border will continue. And more fraudulent elections will continue.

I disagree with one point in Western news coverage and President Obama’s statement tonight.  While I agree coups are not democracy, neither is Erdoğan rule. He lost an election that for the first time gave the Kurds true representation. Then, he used violence and his position to rig a new election that disenfranchised the Kurds and the first election.

It is if we are debating whether in the 1930’s the Spanish or Italian military should have deposed Franco or Mussolini. They were both wankers that led their countries to ruin.  And they also forgot to thank the goat.


  1. I am waiting to get a better explanation of the who and why behind the coup attempt. It seems so lamely executed that claims it was sagged seem credible.

    Ps…My wife has loved the term “wanker” since she first learned of it during a visit to the UK many years ago.


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