Erdoğan 'jokes' with top gymnasts: Don't let your medals get stolen

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a curious joke while meeting with world-ranking Turkish gymnasts in the presidential palace on June 2, telling them to make sure nobody stole their medals.

Duvar English

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan joked with gymnasts during a June 2 meeting in the presidential palace in Ankara, telling the world-ranking athletes to make sure their medals weren't stolen.

"You make sure your medals don't get stolen, yeah? I read a news story that some 40 medals were stolen. Watch out," the president told the gymnasts, adding that the Youth and Sports Ministry should gift the gymnasts with safes. 

"Our athletes who won only 1,481 medals in 2002 made us proud with 9,000 medals in 2019," Erdoğan said.

The president also said that he hoped the number of medals won by the athletes would increase in the coming years before he "joked" about their medals. 

"Our hearts smile when the power of youth and love of Turkey come together. May your successes be everlasting my beautiful children," the president tweeted about the athletes on June 3. 

The president was in the spotlight for yet another inappropriate joke recently, when he asked a reporter if he had killed his own pet while he tried to ask about a law concerning animal rights.