Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Oscar for bumptiousness goes to Egemen Bagis
This year’s Oscar for bumptiousness goes to Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s so-called European affairs minister, for his recent performance on BBC News’ Hardtalk. In a part risible, part nauseating display of hypocrisy, cynicism, arrogance, obtuseness and vulgarity, Bagis talks about how Turkey is standing up for democracy and human rights in Syria and for free speech in France. He also boasts that Turkey inspired the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and lectures the EU on fairness and racism. On Cyprus, he puts forward the Taiwan scenario – direct trade with the occupied areas without formal recognition – and also reveals what we all knew anyway: that the permission granted in 2010 and 2011 for 15 August religious services at Panagia Soumela monastery in Pontos was designed precisely so that Bagis could come on the BBC and tell its journalists and viewers – who cannot possibly know the details – that Turkey’s Greek and Christian communities are now enjoying unprecedented levels of freedom and thriving, thanks to the benevolent leadership of Erdogan the Magnificent.