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    FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 file photo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan kisses Amine Tiras, a young girl in military uniform as he speaks to his ruling party members, in Kahramanmaras, Turkey

    Erdogan in Hot Water After Speaking of Martyrdom for Little Girl (VIDEO)

    © AP Photo / Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Pool
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    The Turkish head of state was visiting an event aimed at bolstering support for the military campaign in Afrin against Kurds forces, when he spotted a little girl, dressed in military uniform.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saw Amine Tiras, 6 years old, dressed in a Turkish Special Operations Forces uniform, weeping while delivering a speech in front of ruling party members, devoted to Turkish military operation in Afrin. He invited her to the stage, where he made a controversial promise, adding that maroon berets [part of the special ops uniform] don’t cry.

    READ MORE: 'Anti-Turkey' Propaganda Campaign by PKK Supporters Doomed to Fail — Erdogan

    "She has the Turkish flag in her pocket. If she becomes a martyr, God willing, this flag will be draped on her," Erdogan said to the audience.

    The President’s remark about the little girl’s martyrdom sparked outrage among social network users:

    READ MORE: If Erdogan Keeps Alienating Neighbors and Allies, He ‘Cannot Survive'

    Turkey has been conducting military operation called “Olive Branch” against Kurd forces on the territory of Afrin, Syria since January 20. The Turkish president claims the operation is not intended to threaten Syria’s sovereignty, but to eliminate the terrorist threat. Damascus has condemned the operation while Moscow has urged Turkey to respect the integrity of the Syrian state.

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    supporters, children, social networks, criticism, speech, facebook, twitter, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey
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