No, we Greeks don’t have the exclusivity in corruption

Burak Bekdil

My friend Burak Bekdil, a Turkish journalist who writes biweekly in the daily Hürriyet, recently wrote a humorous article about the corruption scandal that broke out on December 17, 2013, in a country, — the name of which is left as a trivial exercise for the reader, — and haunts its Prime Minister and his administration. Burak kindly offered his article to the present website for uploading.


Our Dumb Times

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


(All characters and dialogues below are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental)

Prime Minister: “We must find a better rhetoric this time. We looked laughable with your ridiculous intergalactic forces and murder by telekinesis arguments during the protests.” (*)

Advisor: “But, Sir, a party poll showed that 74 percent of the people believed…”

Prime Minister: “Stop it, will you. Find a Jew who should confess to plotting all this. Promise him a clandestine escape route after conviction, with our help. Give him $$$$.”

Foreign Minister: “Sir, I ordered our ambassador in Israel to put out an ad to newspapers: Secret Job Vacancy – Fat Salary. Only Mossad called and asked what the hell is going on. We had mistakenly put the embassy’s phone number to the ad.”

Prime Minister: “€€€men,
(*) tell our European friends this is the work of Kemalists. That they want to sabotage our democratic reforms.”

Minister €€€men: “I did, Sir. I also told them how big and rich we are and that without us they are miserable.”

Prime Minister: “And?”

Minister €€€men: “They smiled, Sir. I think they agreed.”

Interior Minister:
(*) “Prime Minister, Sir, may I…”

Prime Minister: “I didn’t notice you were here.”

Interior Minister: “Sir, our police have just caught a car thief. The man stacked a shoe box with a huge load of cocaine. And two unlicensed pistols. Forensics say one of the guns had been used in five unsolved murders.”

Prime Minister: “Why the hell are you telling me of a case of petty crime?”

Interior Minister: “Sir, the suspect made a scene in front of cameras. He said this was a Jewish conspiracy. Said he was a devout Muslim and Mossad had plotted this. He said everyone in his neighborhood liked him.”

Prime Minister: “So what?”

Interior Minister: “Well… Sir, I mean, perhaps we should change tactic?”

Prime Minister: “You don’t know anything about your own country. This tactic always works. We just need to upgrade it, make small changes. We must change everything so that nothing changes.”

Advisor 2: “Sir, that’s a great Sicilian quote. As always, you are absolutely right!”

Prime Minister: “Wait a second. I was told this was a great Ottoman quote.”

Advisor 2: “Never mind, Sir. Sicilians must have learnt that from the Ottomans.”

Prime Minister: “Quite, quite.”

Party Spokesman: “Sir, I have an idea. What about making a statement to change the whole agenda?
To distract…?”

Foreign Minister: “That’s a great idea! What about Syria?

Prime Minister: “You’ll never learn, will you?”

Party Spokesman: “Sir, you can suggest that a new scientific methodology would be developed to measure one’s piety. Good (pious) citizens will pay less tax.”

Defense Minister: “Sir, I have good news! Our scientists have just finished developing an unmanned fighter aircraft which can cruise underwater and, if necessary, be launched as a ballistic missile. The weapon system which we called the Sultan will be ready for test flights and underwater cruise next week. The only minor snag is that the first prototype had its rotating turret broken down.”

Prime Minister: “That’s nice. But not good enough. We should tell the people that we did all that to advance Islam. With that money we would build mosques, imam schools. We would help Hamas. We would crush the infidels in Egypt.”

Advisor 2: “Sir, that’s basically what the bank manager told the prosecutors in explanation of stacks of cash at his home.”

Advisor 3 (storms into the meeting room): “Wait! I’ve just got the latest polling results! The findings show that our party’s popularity has increased by three percentage points since the scandal erupted!”

Prime Minister: “I knew that our nation was blessed. Long live democracy! The meeting is over.”

Advisor 1: “Sir, that gives me an idea. Since this is the situation… I think… Perhaps from time to time we should leak some scandal to the press? I mean us against us… That will boost our popularity.”

Prime Minister: “That’s cool.”

Minister €€€men: “Sir, I can volunteer for all aspects of that difficult task. For the party, of course.”

Prime Minister: “Well done, €€€men!”


Notes: (by the website owner, not by the author; clicking on ^ returns to the text)

(^) The uninformed and wondering reader should note that some advisors of the fictitious Prime Minister blamed — in all seriousness — “intergalactic forces” and “telekinesis” for the demonstrations and turmoil that erupted in May 2013 in the said fictitious country.

(^) €€€men is the first name of a certain fictitious Minister, responsible for €uropean affairs of the fictitious country, suspected of having stuck his fingers in the €’s and $’s of the corruption scandal, and forced to resign after his Lord and Sultan, the Prime Minister, realized that €€€men’s staying could further damage the Prime Minister’s image.

(^) This fictitious Interior Minister was another one involved in the corruption scandal, also forced to resign when it dawned on his Lord and Sultan that keeping the Minister might cost him a few votes in the upcoming elections.


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