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Erdoğan´s \"ellerini kırarız\"
1.       Abla
3647 posts
 26 Dec 2013 Thu 10:18 pm

After the corruption scandal the Turkish PM said in his speech


                           Kirli tuzaklar kuran elleri kırarız


and in the Western media it was widely quoted and translated word-to-word as ´we will break their arms´. People connected it with the physical punishments in the shariah criminal law. I was wondering if it really should be taken literally in this sentence. There are dozens of metaphors with el in Turkish, couldn´t this be one of them, i.e. something like ´we will make their plans go astray´? (In that case, the literal translation would be incorrect.)

2.       ikicihan
1127 posts
 27 Dec 2013 Fri 08:30 am

"ellerini kır-mak" means to punish someone, to punish him severely. of course it is not literal, maybe it was once literal in middle ages.

3.       impulse
298 posts
 27 Dec 2013 Fri 12:02 pm


4.       Whiteout
20 posts
 28 Dec 2013 Sat 04:22 am

As in Catholic Schools today,in Muslim Schools too teacher/imam uses the ruller to beat the students´ hands severely,some point almost to break it.Old idiom,but still in use, literally and non literally. We used to joke "Where you used to get the most free gas?" by answering "Auschwitz", nowdays Turks say "In Istanbul." IMHO Turkish P.M wants to mean that idiom,because he is very angry lately,but I don´t think he can break any hands because there is no dirty hands other than his own clan´s.Well we all will see.

5.       Abla
3647 posts
 29 Dec 2013 Sun 09:52 pm

Thanks for your views. I do understand ellerini kırarız is an expression of great anger but when translated literally it may give wrong connotations in languages where such a metaphor does not exist.


I have asked Turks before about what kind of a speaker Mr. Erdoğan is, at least he seems to attract attention.

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