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A event, person or happenstance that is generally known of but not acknowledged by anyone. A elephant in the room.
Derived from the plotline of an episode of the PBS television series "Downton Abbey" in which the protagonists try and hide the death of a Turkish visitor.
While discussing the reorg, nobody acknowledged the dead turk in the room- the impending layoffs of half the staff.

The crushed fender wasn't the real problem. The dead turk was the empty liquor bottle under the front seat.
by Onisimos July 17, 2012