In an unusual and controversial political gesture, Turkey’s far-right Victory Party (ZP) has attempted to make a national flag from the blood of its supporters.
The Turkish flag, with its striking red background and white star and crescent moon, has long been a symbol of national pride for Turks. This recent endeavor, however, introduces a literal and figurative twist to its iconic red hue.
Over the past two weeks, the ZP set up booths across Turkey, inviting supporters to prick their fingers and stain a piece of cloth with their blood. Dubbed “Our Flag Colored with Noble Blood,” the initiative aimed to produce a flag solely from the blood droplets of its supporters. However, they fell short of the blood needed to complete the flag.
All you need is a little prick to show love for your country. Fans of the racist Victory Party smear blood on a cloth in effort to create Turkish flag https://t.co/NqxLZNOz1B
— Andy Wilks (@AndyWilks61) August 16, 2023
The campaign quickly became a hot topic after being reported by the Turkish Serbestiyet news outlet, leading many to question the symbolism and safety of such a gesture.
The VP, characterized as far-right, ultranationalist and anti-refugee, defended the event by detailing rigorous safety precautions they claim were followed. These ranged from acquiring informed consent to ensuring on-site medical professionals.
The unfinished flag was eventually handed to the party’s chairman, Ümit Özdağ, during an event in Çanakkale. Notably, Özdağ also added his own droplet to the growing mosaic of blood stains.