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Turkey Had An Election And Somehow Cock Rings Got Involved

This is probably the weirdest thing you'll read about what was a wild election.

Last updated on June 25, 2018, at 11:17 a.m. ET

Posted on June 23, 2018, at 12:37 p.m. ET

This Sunday's ~snap election~ in Turkey was supposed to be rather boring. Instead, the longest-serving leader in the country's modern history faced his biggest challenge ever — and somehow erotic poetry and sex toys got involved.

Adem Altan / AFP / Getty Images

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in charge of Turkey for a long time, tightening his grip on power along the way at the expense of Turkey's democracy.

Sunday's election was 18 months earlier than it would have been before Erdogan moved it up. Why'd he bump it up? Well, last year he got voters to give the presidency a lot more power. Those powers couldn't kick in until the president's next term, so Erdogan decided there's no time like the present. His AKP party has won in 12 elections in the last 16 years, so he probably had no reason to think they couldn't keep it going.
Kayhan Ozer / AFP / Getty Images

Sunday's election was 18 months earlier than it would have been before Erdogan moved it up. Why'd he bump it up? Well, last year he got voters to give the presidency a lot more power. Those powers couldn't kick in until the president's next term, so Erdogan decided there's no time like the present.

His AKP party has won in 12 elections in the last 16 years, so he probably had no reason to think they couldn't keep it going.

While he managed to win on Sunday, Erdogan found himself up against an unexpectedly galvanizing competitor named Muharrem Ince, and the battle between them took a few interesting turns.

Ince — who has spent years as a member of parliament representing the main opposition party in Turkey, known as the CHP — had been drawing massive crowds and doing things like reaching out to the Kurds, the largest ethnic minority in Turkey, and guaranteeing women the right to wear the headscarf again if they want.He also benefited from the Turkish economy's recent weakness to be able to present Erdogan as having been in control for too long. In all, he was a much more vibrant campaigner than anyone the center-left has put up for ages, and became a real threat to the sitting president.
Adem Altan / AFP / Getty Images

Ince — who has spent years as a member of parliament representing the main opposition party in Turkey, known as the CHP — had been drawing massive crowds and doing things like reaching out to the Kurds, the largest ethnic minority in Turkey, and guaranteeing women the right to wear the headscarf again if they want.

He also benefited from the Turkish economy's recent weakness to be able to present Erdogan as having been in control for too long. In all, he was a much more vibrant campaigner than anyone the center-left has put up for ages, and became a real threat to the sitting president.

So, it seems Erdogan had to get a bit ~creative~ with his attacks. It all started two weeks ago now at a rally for Erdogan, where he mocked Ince and accused him of having had shady business dealings in the past.

"We will keep exposing his lies and opening old dirty notebooks hoping that he'll be ashamed," he said.
Adem Altan / AFP / Getty Images

"We will keep exposing his lies and opening old dirty notebooks hoping that he'll be ashamed," he said.

Erdogan added that Ince was "apparently a poet. Has an interest in poetry. I'm not going to read from his poetry book. But the youth will see what is in it."

The book, Tatanka, does exist and is indeed written by Ince. The issue Erdogan (and some others on social media) seem to have is that some (but not all) of the poems are slightly erotic in nature, talking about making love to women or describing their breasts.

The book, Tatanka, does exist and is indeed written by Ince.

The issue Erdogan (and some others on social media) seem to have is that some (but not all) of the poems are slightly erotic in nature, talking about making love to women or describing their breasts.

Ince acknowledged the issue himself last week at a rally and stood behind his work.

ince'den erdoğan'a çok sert şiir kitabı yanıtı... berat'a "yüzüklerin efendisi" dedi ve ekledi "eski defterleri açma, alışveriş listesini açıklarım. delikanlı ol" https://t.co/LAcHoiYvBA

"He picked up a book I wrote 30 years ago and is accusing me, telling others to take a look at what I've written," Ince said.

"Who wrote those poems? I did." Ince continued. "Do you have a problem with it? What would you even understand about poetry? You can only read off of prompters and I'm writing poems." He went on to say that he had "nothing to hide," and that he gave away the book, only accepting donations, which he used to open "a science lab at the elementary school I studied at. Ignorant man."

Heated words! But then it got REALLY intense.

Ince continued: "But, I'll tell you something — if you are very interested in opening old notebooks, I'm ready. I can expose a shopping list from your 'Lord of the Rings.' If you want, I can do this. You understand what I mean. Let go of this sort of talk. Act like a man and face me."
Adem Altan / AFP / Getty Images

Ince continued: "But, I'll tell you something — if you are very interested in opening old notebooks, I'm ready. I can expose a shopping list from your 'Lord of the Rings.' If you want, I can do this. You understand what I mean. Let go of this sort of talk. Act like a man and face me."

Wait. Lord of the Rings? ....What?

New Line Cinema

Here's the backstory: In 2016 a hacker group, RedHack, claimed to have hacked Minister of Energy Berat Albayrak's emails and threatened to leak them if two leftist activists in detention were not released. (Albayrak just so happens to also be Erdogan's son-in-law.)

And leak the alleged emails they did! There's a lot of material there, but Ince was referring to Albayrak's alleged online shopping receipts, which were included in the material.

It turns out Erdogan's son-in-law was allegedly...into some stuff.

Redhack mailini hacklediği Berat Albayrak'ın titreşimli seks oyuncağı siparişlerini ifşa etti. AKP'lilerin seks hayatı baya renkliymiş https://t.co/XaHJlzPrYN

In the purported emails, you can see receipts showing purchase of lube, sex slings, vibrators and...cock rings!

So, to recap, one presidential candidate accused another one of immorality due to his poems of an erotic nature. And the other one effectively called the former's son-in-law Lord of the Cock Rings.

New Line Cinema

(We want to make it clear that we at BuzzFeed News make no moral judgment toward anyone getting their freak on consensually.)

So though the election is over, we'll always have this memory, burned into our brains like the words in the Black Speech inscribed on the One Ring.

New Line Cinema

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