Erdogan falls asleep “at the Wheel”

A video showing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan falling asleep for a moment while addressing his ruling AKP members has gone viral on social media. As the video was pre-recorded, journalist Fatih Altaylı said that the president’s team’s failure to crop out the moment was notable, reports Duvar English.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was seen falling asleep for a split second during a taped Eid al-Adha greeting video recorded for members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).


The video quickly became viral on social media on July 21.


The president is seen closing his eyes and nodding off for a second between two sentences of his Eid address, quickly recovering to continue with his speech.


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Turkish journalist Fatih Altaylı said in a column on July 22 that it was notable for Erdogan’s team to release the video without cutting out the moment in question as the video wasn’t broadcast live.


Meanwhile, social media users took to Twitter to poke fun at the video, with one user quoting Erdogan’s words about former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).



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Ayşe Aydoğdu recalled that Erdogan had said in 2002 about the former prime minister: “Ecevit is seriously ill. He has health problems. He should resign already.”




Another social media user said that Erdogan was “rebooting himself,” a process used to kickstart technological devices that suffer from erroneous operations.


The Turkish president has long been rumored to suffer from health problems, although the presidency hasn’t made an official statement on the topic yet.



One of the main news channels in Turkey, Haber Turk dared  to show the embarrassing moment, after which it was bashed by Palace Communications director Fahrettin Altun, and asked to apologize.


Erdogan’s moment of lapse is probably a sign of fatigue caused by his relentless workaholism and the unbearable summer heat.


If it is a health problem, it would explain confusing and opposing policy steps of late. For instance, Erdogan wants to improve relations with US and EU, but he annoyed both parties by allegedly ordering  second batch of S-400 Russian anti-missile systems and re-opening UN-closed Cypriote township of Varosha (Maras) to tourism.


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.