Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Video Tuesday: Erdogan Shopkeeper Jackals Pick Wrong Tourist to Mess With, Kuwaiti Born Irish Pugilist Defeats Entire Mob of Angry Turks

Finally. Good news.

This incredible video looks like a scene from a James Bond or Kung fu movie. But it's real. A Turkish shopkeeper overreacts when a tourist accidentally knocks over some water bottles. Other shopkeepers and hangers on quickly join a mob, armed with sticks, chairs and other found weapons. But the tourist--a trained boxer--methodically defends himself, laying a number of them out. At one point he calmly moves his sunglasses to the top of his head and then continues the fight.

Interestingly, this video has gone viral in Turkey, where thuggish shopkeepers are identified with the authoritarian Muslim government. From the  Independent:
An Irish tourist who was caught up in a mass brawl with local shopkeepers in Istanbul has become an unexpected hero among Turkish social media users. 
The video shows a man described in Turkish media as an Irish tourist and apparent “professional boxer” getting into a fight with locals after accidentally spilling a fridge full of water bottles. 
Far from criticizing the tourist, who can be seen taking on more than a dozen shopkeepers armed with sticks and chairs, the response in Turkey has been overwhelmingly positive by many. 
It’s not simply a case of backing the outnumbered underdog – though there is undoubtedly an element of that in the reaction. 
More so, Istanbul’s shopkeepers have become something of a symbol for the division in the country between a progressive left and the conservative government under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 
Shopkeepers attacked demonstrators during the 2013 anti-government protest in Gezi Park, Istanbul, famous in part for an image of a policeman spraying a woman in a red dress with tear gas.
According to the Hurriyet newspaper, four suspects accused over the fatal beating of protester Ali Ismail Korkmaz were all local shopkeepers working at a bakery at the time. 
In 2014, President Erdoğan sparked anger when he implied support for shopkeepers taking the law into their own hands. Speaking while the trial over Korkmaz’s death was taking place, the president said: “My shopkeepers, when necessary, can be soldiers, fighters, heroes, police and judges.” 
Some Turkish social media users mocked the shopkeepers shown in the video which emerged today in this context. One user reportedly joked: “This Irish guy turned out be an Alevi, anti-Erdogan, and CHP (Republican People’s Party) sympathiser.” 
A source at the Irish consulate in Istanbul told The Independentthat the “fun incident” had been tweeted about 75,000 times in Turkey in less than 24 hours. 
He said the Irish national had been “attacked” by shopkeepers in Istanbul’s Aksaray district. 
“The fist and stick fight began after the tourist accidentally knocked over the bottled waters stored in the cooler,” he said. 
“The shop owner overreacted and attacked the tourist with a stick. The surprising thing is that the tourist turned out to be a pro boxer and knocked down the angry shopkeepers one by one.”
The man has been identified as Mohammed Fadel Dobbous, a Kuwait-born Irish citizen. As of this writing there seems to be no additional information on him. If he is a professional boxer, he doesn't appear to be registered in Ireland.

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