Turkish politician flaunts ring...with his face on it

Turkish politician flaunts ring...with his face on it
2 min read
10 Mar, 2017
Turkish political iconography has a thing for a strongman, but wearing a ring with your own face on it remains somewhat unorthodox
Opposition leader Devlet Bahçeli is a fan of a good ring [AFP]

In the past few weeks Turkey has become embroiled in a broody diplomatic storm with Germany following a ban levelled by a number of German local authorities preventing Turkish referendum rallies, set to be attended by Turkish ministers, from taking place.

Rhetoric from Turkish politicians has snowballed to the extent that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan even claimed that the rulings - which ultimately stand in the way of him canvassing support for a vote set for 16 April that he hopes will lead to an expansion of presidential powers - were "not different from the Nazi practices of the past".

The remarks unsurprisingly caused outrage in Germany

But they have been backed up by other Turkish politicians, including opposition figures.

Among them Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli who this week slammed Berlin directing a barbed plea to German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

"Germany's chancellor should avoid actions and steps against Turkey that increase the tension [between the two countries] while correcting her mistake [against Turkey]," said Bahçeli, according to Yeni Safak.

"If necessary ... we will not avoid taking matters into our own hands."

But Bahçeli, whose position as MHP party leader could be in danger after 15 years at the helm, has not only been upping the ante in terms of diplomacy-busting rhetoric this week, he has also been upping the stakes sartorially. 

Not hats, scarves, and cravats, and all that metrosexual jazz. The MHP chief is a fan of a good ring. 

Turkish politics is certainly no stranger to the iconic strongman, it is a modus operandi, from Ataturk through Erdogan, with fawning imagery of the two leaders, past and present, plastered across walls and facades on streets, and placed in picture frames in shops and households, in towns and cities throughout most areas of Turkey.

But Bahçeli has been spotted this week seemingly combining his own love of rings, with Turkish politics' love of strong-man iconography.

This week he has taken to sporting a rather impressive looking silver ring with his own visage emblazoned on it. Yes, his own face.

Whoop, there it is: the ring itself

The origins of the ring remain unclear, although some reports in Turkish media have suggested it may have be a wedding present. Strong gift.