The Persistence of Metternich

When are cliches not just bad color commentary?

So Tommy thought he was complimenting Tuncay when, during the first half of today's Turkey-Croatia quarterfinal match in Euro 2008 competition, he declared "He played with all the persistence of an Istanbul carpet seller!"

What was this remark truly, but yet another European belittling of how progressive and unencumbered by morbid European nostalgia Turkey is today? Maybe to this haggis-eating lout, Turkey today is just another rustic Old World tourist destination teeming with swarthy, Euro-grubbing merchants.

But perhaps more tactful praise might have been directed at Tuncay, giving Ataturk's children their due and providing those watching at home with some sense of the complexity of contemporary Turkey. I don't know -- something along the lines of:

He played with all the persistence of a populist pro-Islamic politician.

...with all the persistence of the headscarf ban.

...with all the persistence of Armenian genocide denial.

I'm just sayin'...

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