Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday used a nationalist hand sign during a speech at a party meeting in Mersin province, Hürriyet reported.
Repeating his “One nation, one flag, one homeland, one state” slogan, Erdoğan made the nationalist “grey wolf” sign instead of his usual “rabia” sign, inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Erdoğan later gave the rabia sign.
Although he once said he was against all kinds of nationalism, Erdoğan has recently created an election alliance with the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for critical elections in 2019.
Erdoğan famously told party followers in 1995 that he would even wear a priest’s cassock if it was necessary to achieve a goal.
Reacting to Erdoğan’s nationalist sign, Öztürk Yılmaz, deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said it would be no surprise if MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli were to use Erdoğan’s rabia sign and brought to mind Erdoğan’s critical remarks about Turkish nationalism.
Turkish nationalists use the hand sign of the grey wolf, inspired by a she-wolf in the Ergenekon legend, a myth associated with the country’s Turkic origins in the Central Asian steppes.