Thousands of people vented their frustration with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration, saying ‘Enough’ to his 16-year rule of Turkey in a mass display of discontent.
Since his party’s ascension to power in 2002, current President Erdogan has mainly mastered campaign trails, crafted creative slogans and campaign programs, appeared always ahead of his political rivals. He both dominated discourse and the election landscape. But no more.
When, on Tuesday, he signaled that he would relinquish power if people say ‘Tamam,’ — that’s enough in English — on the election day, it aroused powerful repercussions beyond his intention and control. That remark has suddenly become the main rallying point for a normally divided opposition, unwittingly uniting them around a powerful slogan. It plunged tech-savvy Turks into a frenzy in social media, with opponents expressing their discontent around a new slogan “That’s enough.”
The president initially attempted to dispel fears that he might never cease his hold onto power even if he loses the election. While aiming to prove his fealty to democracy by highlighting the people’s will as the final arbiter of political disputes, he accidentally let the gene out of the bottle.
Already, a million tweets were posted on Twitter, making #Tamam the top worldwide trending topic. All opposition candidates joined the fray, saying enough to Erdogan’s rule.
“Tamam. #TurkiyeIYIOlacak [Turkey will be good] ” Nationalist opposition Good Party leader Meral Aksener tweeted.
Islamist Felicity Party’s presidential candidate Temel Karamollaoglu showed a similar reaction. “Tamam Insallah [God Willing].”
Muharrem Ince, the presidential candidate of Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said Time is Enough.
The word has become the uniting slogan of the opposition. “The kettle was dysfunctioning, hence the delay. TAMAM, tweeted Selahattin Demirtas, the jailed candidate of Pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP).
Protesters Flock to Streets
Recalling Gezi Park protests, which swept entire Turkey in 2013 summer, thousands of people flocked to streets in Istanbul and other cities to express dissatisfaction and exasperation with the Erdogan rule.
T A M A M mı? #tamam pic.twitter.com/Mp2JU5vzZ1
— Medyan Haber (@medyanhaber) May 8, 2018
Tayyip Erdoğan'ın çağrısı sosyal medya ile sınırlı kalmadı.
Kadıköylüler sokağa çıkarak hep birlikte "T A M A M" diye haykırdı. pic.twitter.com/TapIX1wOut
— Tamam TV (@Tamam_TV) May 8, 2018
In some places, Turkish police intervened to disperse protesting groups.
Polisin 'T A M A M' diyen yurttaşlara saldırısından görüntüler… v/ @sendika_org https://t.co/nv1IXmd1ru pic.twitter.com/EDgyYAAKWC
— Yolculuk Gazetesi (@gazeteyolculuk) May 8, 2018
Stunned by the level of public support for “TAMAM,” the pro-government media came up with headlines like “DEVAM,” which means Continue, Go on, or Keep on in English.
Erdoğan liderliğinde Türkiye büyümeye DEVAM ediyor https://t.co/4ZrGCy0j3D pic.twitter.com/FBlHcKGZCq
— A Haber (@tvahaber) May 8, 2018
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