ANKARA: Turkish Prime Minister and presidential hopeful Recep Tayyip Erdogan ridiculed his main election opponent on Sunday, referring to him as “mon cher” —a derogatory term used in Turkey to describe elitists. “They ask a candidate whether he will address the issue of roads [construction]if elected. He replies he has nothing to do with roads . . . They are ‘mon cher’ but we are servants,” Erdogan told thousands of supporters in a rally in the eastern province of Erzurum. In Turkish, the French phrase “mon cher” (“my dear” in English) is a term of ridicule which Erdogan has used in the past to describe retired Turkish diplomats. On Sunday, he used it to refer to Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu— the softly spoken, bespectacled intellectual put forward as a joint candidate by the main opposition parties to defeat Erdogan in the country’s first direct presidential election in August.