Mr Erdogan's actions come as nationalist sentiment runs high over a Turkish cross-border military offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters that are affiliated with Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey.
In a speech criticized as child abuse and the glorification of child martyrdom, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said to a crying six-year-old girl dressed in military fatigues, "If she's martyred, they'll lay a flag on her, God willing". Girl, what are you doing here? When he called her on stage, she started weeping.
The president was speaking at a provincial rally in support of Turkey's troops in Syria, which was broadcast live on state television.
Erdogan gave her a final kiss before letting her go.
Tiras held her salute however her face crumples as she was lifted out of the crowd to meet the president. "We have our maroon berets here, but maroon berets never cry".
The incident sparked a wide range of reactions on social media, as many people took to Twitter to rebuke or praise the president.
"Look, look, what is there", Erdogan said in the video which is converted from Turkish to English.
Turkey has a longstanding culture of nationalist militarism, with popular slogans such as "Every Turk born a soldier".
A total of 1,780 "terrorists" have been "neutralized" since Ankara began launching air strikes and its troops advanced into the Kurdish-held territories, according to the Turkish General Staff. Ankara insists that the offensive is exclusively aimed at neutralizing threats to its national security, denying allegations that it has targeted civilians.
Mr Erdogan's opponents criticise him for using the funerals of dead soldiers and children for highly politicised speeches. The Times said Erdogan told her that she would be honored if she was ever killed in battle. She wore a military-style uniform, but is not a cadet.
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