During his visit to Malatya province Oct. 25, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stopped to chat with a group of school bus drivers. One among the crowd said, “We cannot take bread home to our families.” Erdogan replied, “I find this statement exaggerated.” While he handed out tea packages to the crowd, he said, “Here, have a cup of joy.” Later, the bus drivers told the members of the press there that they are dedicated supporters of Turkey’s ruling party and that they have voted for Erdogan for the past 18 years.
Bread is a basic staple food in Turkey. There are several sayings that are based on bread, such as “earning your bread” that means making a living. Therefore, not being able to “bring bread home” means not being able to support your family’s needs. Erdogan’s reaction to those who are in need shows once again how isolated he is from reality.