On Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a larger-than-life appearance in İzmir, when — unable to attend a party meeting in the Aegean city — he beamed into the conference hall as a 10-foot-tall hologram.
The event made national and even global headlines, but the reaction was perhaps not what the prime minister was aiming for.
A video posted on YouTube morphed the Turkish leader into a number of movie scenes, showing him as famous figures ranging from the Wizard of Oz to a ghost in the 1984 flick “Ghostbusters.” Titled “The hologram will not learn from you!” in reference to a dig Erdoğan once made at the faith-based Hizmet movement, the video had earned over 3,000 views within a few hours of its posting. Another popular spoof beamed the Erdoğram into French duo Daft Punk’s Grammy performance.
International news coverage of the holographic spectacle took a mirthful tone. The Guardian poked fun at the prime minister’s frequent claims of being a victim of a shady plot, repeated in his Tuesday speech, saying, “That’s a bit rich coming from a giant hologram.” The Atlantic called the incident “a scene straight out of Star Wars,” while ABC News echoed this sentiment in a headline that announced “Turkish Leader Pulls a Princess Leia.”
As other commentators at home and abroad seized the opportunity to compare the prime minister’s towering image to what they deemed his inflated ego, it seems the outsized performance will be remembered as much for the humorous response as for the event itself.
Erdoğan hologram inspires laughter, satire | Al-Rasub