The poem written by senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohammed al-Baltagy following the death of his 17-year-old daughter during the protests in Cairo, provoked an emotional response from Turkey’s prime minister on television on Thursday night.
Despite his strongman image, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is known to be an emotional man, and the poem left him speechless and tearful.
“Once, my daughter asked me to spend one night at home with her but I was working hard and could not spare time for her…I saw my own children in al-Baltagy’s letter,” he said.
In 2010 Erdogan cried at the deaths of children in Gaza, at which time there was some comment in Turkey about why he did not do the same when Kurdish children were killed.
In the same interview he said there was little doubt the most recent massacre of civilians in Damascus was the result of a chemical attack, and he expressed his frustration at the UN’s failure to act, repeating his argument that the UN Security Council needed reform.