No, you are the son of a poor, overbearing sailor whose shoes you kissed to display respect and who, when you offended a neighbor, hung you from the ceiling as punishment; you are a child who was selling bread and lemons on the street corners of the popular and infamous Kasimpasa neighborhood in Istanbul, where as a boy you were already known as the "Big Brother," you who would become the head of the Muslim Brotherhood.
You studied the Koran in a religious school and there you learned that Ataturk, as you will say one day, was just a "drunkard" who sold his country to Europeans and closed his harems, took the veil off women's faces and the fez from men, abolished polygamy, adopted the Gregorian calendar and the Latin alphabet.
You were put in jail for reading an Islamic poem when your country was still secular; your teacher Necmettin Erbakan said that "Europeans are sick, we will give them medicine, the whole of Europe will become Islamic and we will conquer Rome" and you have come to restore to greatness a country that had fallen into decadence after dominating half the world, from Casablanca to Jerusalem to the Balkans.
Erdogan: Democracy is a means but not an end: it is like a tram, from which you get off when you arrive at your destination.
Now you, once that child, have become a sultan. Everyone is waiting to hear your word, from the Chinese Xi to the Russian Putin to the bureaucrats of Europe and NATO, the Americans flatter you like a wolf in the fold, the Muslims of Europe respect you, the Taliban go to you to ask for advice ...
You reconverted to a mosque the basilica of Hagia Sophia that belonged to Justinian and you have noted that we said nothing (the Pope said he was a little "saddened").
Against the Armenians (a people who had suffered the Turkish genocide under the eyes of Europe) you unloaded drones, missiles and phosphorus bombs in autumn 2020 and we said nothing.
You called Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, "mentally ill" and we didn't say anything.
You closed publishing houses, banned 135,000 books from Turkish public libraries, eliminated 300,000 books from schools and fired more than 5,800 academics and we didn't say anything.
You withdrew your country from an international treaty on the prevention of violence against women, despite the impunity on "honor killings" common in Turkey, and we said nothing.
You have given your country the highest per capita incarceration rate among the 47 members of the Council of Europe and we said nothing.
Your Religious Affairs Directorate has proposed that under Islamic law 9-year-old girls and 12-year-old boys can get married and we said nothing.
You used migrants as a weapon of war and we even gave you 6 billion.
You left without a chair, not even a camel, the president of the European Commission and we said nothing.
And despite all this, how can we forget that Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, begged you to consider how “we treated you like a prince in Brussels”? A prince on a golden throne who thinks: "These Europeans are really nothing".
That child, Recep Tayip Erdogan, hates Europe. He says it is "sick". And he knows them well, the Europeans, and he has seen how weak they are. Thus, at the last NATO summit he did not need to have a few Kurds from Sweden and Finland in exchange, the Kurds are already a people of losers, but he wanted to humiliate them, these Europeans.
Because Erdogan knew that the Kurds fought alongside us in the war against ISIS, to which he turned more than one blind eye.
Let's imagine that child from Kasimpasa, who managed to humiliate Benedict XVI too, the Pope of the Regensburg speech, who dared to quote Muhammad and the Byzantine emperor. The "apology operation" put in place by Vatican diplomacy ended with Ratzinger's trip to Turkey. Erdogan humiliated the Pope by dedicating a few minutes to him in the VIP lounge of the Ankara airport, like he would to a passer-by.
That child was consistent and always said that "mosques are our barracks, domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers". He believes in the clash of civilizations and works on it.
That child would come to humiliate the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who gave her consent to the request of the Turkish president when he asked for a trial against the German comedian Jan Bohmermann, author of a profanity-filled satirical poem against his human rights record, among other less mentionable things. These sincere democrats who believe in free speech occasionally hit at him, although less and less, but he, the child of Kasimpasa, had already said: "Democracy is a means but not an end: it is like a tram, from which you get off when you arrive at your destination."
When Europe thinks of Erdogan, Brussels sees the leader of a country of 84 million people who, in a generation, will become 100 million, a large economic market (we are only interested in that, bolts and pistachios) and the second most powerful NATO army and says: “This child from Kasimpasa deserves respect”. When he thinks of Europe, Erdogan sees only frightened children who do not take anything seriously, history, religion, strength and not even their self-proclaimed "values," such as freedom. This is why he said to Muslims: "Have five children each and Europe will be yours."
Today that child is 68 years old and has been in office since 2003, almost twenty years. And when he is old, he may not yet be able to say it, but it will not be long before his co-religionists can say that Europe is now theirs.
Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author, in English, of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books, in addition to books in Italian. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Gatestone, Frontpage and Commentary.