Turkish minister's joke attempt using Marlon Brando's picture backfires drastically

Young social media users in Turkey complained that Education Minister Ziya Selçuk stole Marlon Brando's youth "just like he stole theirs," after Selçuk used a photo of the iconic actor for a Twitter challenge prompting people to share photos from when they were in their 20s.

Duvar English

A joke that Turkish Education Minister Ziya Selçuk made on social media backfired drastically on May 5, as users took to criticizing Selçuk's use of a photo of iconic actor Marlon Brando for a challenge prompting everyone to share a photo from their 20s.

"I'd lost all photos from my youth during my move but I have one left :)" Selçuk tweeted on May 4, participating in the 20s challenge.

Young Turkish social media users protested Selçuk's attempt at a joke, with the most common sentiment being that Marlon Brando wasn't the only person whose youth the minister "stole."

"Ours wasn't enough, now he stole Marlon Brando's youth," tweeted one user, which thousands of others shared. 

Selçuk was heavily criticized for managing the school closures badly during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for his vague statements and failure to recognize the youth's wishes.

Other Turkish politicians also followed suit, with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu captioning his photo with a tribute to his wife. 

"Where did the years go... Of course, it was very important to impress Miss Selvi," Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan also shared a photo with his wife and said that "not much" had changed for the couple.