Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Vicious Anti-semite


Erdogan’s odious anti-Semitic slander

By Richard Cohen on NY Daily News

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Semitism is getting the better of him. Once again, the Turkish prime minister has trotted out the Hitler analogy in relation to Israel and what it has done in Gaza. “They curse Hitler morning and night,” he said of the Israelis. “However, now their barbarism has surpassed even Hitler’s.”

Erdogan’s Hitler fetish is both revolting and inaccurate. Hitler murdered an estimated 6 million Jews, not to mention millions of Poles, Russians, Gypsies and, as a group, homosexuals; the Israelis have killed in the current Gaza operation more than 1,000 Palestinians. The difference between murdered and killed — the former on purpose, the latter mostly what’s called “collateral damage” — ought to be clear to anyone whose mind is not addled by anti-Semitism.

Israel has gone out of its way to try to avoid civilian deaths. It has often — maybe too often — not succeeded. But it has warned civilians with telephone calls and text messages and even dummy bombs hitting the roof. This, I point out, is far more than President Obama has done when American drones kill terrorists in Pakistan or wherever. Hamas militants are also terrorists and they hide, as every guerrilla army has ever done, among the people.

The loss of civilian life is awful, but it is no Holocaust. It is, though, an opportunity for anti-Semites, latent or otherwise, to express their bigotry. Their implied statement is that the Jews had it coming — see how they act now! Their bigotry overpowers their logic and they deliriously lose all sense of proportion — 6 million versus 1,000 or so in Gaza — and they conflate the killer with the killed. It is repugnant.

For Erdogan, the handier and closer to home reference would have been what the Turks did to the Armenians. This genocide — the very word was coined by Raphael Lemkin to encompass what happened to 1.5 million Armenians during and after World War I — has been roundly denied by the Turkish government. In a dizzying feat of irrationality, the head of that government brushes past the crimes of his own nation to point an accusatory finger at the victims of another nation.

Erdogan’s remarks are merely the reductio ad absurdum of the anti-Israel argument. Some accuse Israel of a hideous lack of proportionality without pausing to say what the proper proportion of death and destruction should be. Would Hamas have ceased firing rockets into Israel if Israel had bombed less? Somehow, I think not. Would Hamas have blown up its own tunnels if Israel had ceased its attack after, say, a week? Again, no.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, did the U.S. go into Afghanistan to kill exactly 2,977 Al Qaeda and Taliban, an eye for every eye extinguished on that infamous day? Israel is a small nation of only about 8 million people, more than a fifth of them Arabs. Proportionality is a luxury beyond its reach.

It is clear that much of the world has grown weary of Israel. Its persistent settlement of the West Bank is surely cause for indignation. Yet there is an edge to the outrage that is elsewhere lacking. When did thousands gather in Europe to protest the Syrian slaughter — not just the government’s abhorrent bombing, use of gas and repression, but the torture and murder of about 10,000 activists and dissidents? It was a mass murder that the Syrian government studiously archived — photos and such — which surely deserves the Nazi analogy that comes so easily to the tongue of Erdogan and others. No matter. Silence.

I take psychiatric theories with a grain of salt, but the effort of Erdogan to make the victim worse than the victimizer is not only false and tasteless, it is psychologically intriguing. It does more than blame the victim. It tends to exonerate the criminal. History is repeating itself — not, as Marx said, as either tragedy or farce, but in Erdogan’s telling as pornography.

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Senior Turkish Officials Blame Problems on Jews

By Steven Emerson on The Algemeiner

Anti-Semitic sentiment flourishes throughout many parts of the Muslim world. Leaders in various countries have historically blamed Jews and Israel for internal woes to alleviate domestic pressure and propagate the concept of an external enemy in order to cultivate regime legitimacy. One of Turkey’s deputy prime ministers, Besir Atalay, is the latest to do so in trying to deflect attention from protests against Turkey’s Islamist government

“World powers and the Jewish Diaspora prompted the unrest and have actively encouraged it,” Atalay said.

This statement comes after ruling AKP party mayor of Ankara referenced the protests in Gezi as “a game of the Jewish lobby” on a June 16 Twitter message.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also recently cited the “interest-rate lobby” as a de-stabilizing force in Turkey in an apparent reference to Jewish global financiers.

The anti-Jewish attitudes dominating senior officials may be a major factor behind Turkey’s reluctance to facilitate full normalization with Israel.

Almost three months have passed since negotiations began between Turkey and Israel to reach an agreement regarding compensation for the casualties on board the Mavi Marmara as it tried to break Israel’s blockade on the Hamas government in Gaza. The reconciliation began following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to Erdogan, which was made at the behest of President Obama. The Turkish Hurriyet daily publication asserts that many observers perceived normalization would conclude within four months of the apology and that ambassadors would return to the respective capitals before July. However, the paper alleges that the normalization process has been stifled due to Turkey’s anti-Israel and anti-Jewish allegations concerning the recent demonstrations.

Earlier this year, Erdogan called Zionism “a crime against humanity.”

Even as Egypt continues to experience political turmoil, Erdogan is still planning to visit Hamas leaders in Gaza The planned trip is very controversial considering Hamas is a U.S. designated terrorist organization. Erdogan initially announced his travel plans shortly after Netanyahu’s apology.

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Erdogan Insults Blacks as State Media Continues Anti-Semitic Campaign

By Zach Pontz on The Algemeiner

Not sated by his anti-Semitism, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried his hand at another form of blatant racism.

In comments made about Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the center-left and secular Republican Peoples Party (CHP), Erdoğan declared, “Kılıçdaroğlu is striving every bit he can to raise himself from the level of a black person to the level of a white man.”

The comments were made during a weekly meeting of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Commentary Magazine, which spotted the report in Turkey’s Gazeticiler online newspaper, notes that “President Obama has described Erdoğan as one of the few leaders with whom he has developed bonds of trust,” calling into question the US’s awareness of how Erdoğan speaks for domestic consumption.

Meanwhile, in keeping with the Turkish government’s anti-Semitic tone that has been on the rise since unrest began in the country May 28th, the website Al-Monitor reports that its coverage of the protests has earned it the label “subcontractor of the Zionist lobby“ by Medyagundem, a website said to be under the control of Turkey’s state-run Sabah daily.

Medyagundem writes: “There is a website called Al-Monitor. It is a platform that translates news and comments from Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish, Hebrew and Persian. Obviously, it is a costly operation. You can find local language articles in English on this site. Its selections of news and articles is meticulously made and is highly professional. Its main theme is the news and analysis that will serve the interests of Israel and the global Zionist network.”

“The site’s stated goal is to tell the Western world about the Middle East. They have only one condition while doing that. Works of anyone who is a sworn enemy of Islamists and conservative administrations and actors are translated immediately into English.”

“In addition to translations, they also have regular writers. Some of its Turkish writers are interesting. This team that complains about their own country to the West in an Islamophobic, Zionist media organ has not come together by coincidence.”

The author of the Al-Monitor article that addresses the accusation, Cengiz Candar, writes that a list of Turkish writers accompanying the Medyagundem article includes him, “someone known as one of the most critical writers against Israel for decades,” before broaching whether Erdogan’s administration has “lost its bearings and [is] heading in a McCarthyist direction.”

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Israel not surprised Erdogan heats up Anti-Semitic rhetoric before elections

By Herb Keinon on The Jerusalem Post

In a country where the voters are Muslim, those with the more anti-Semitic “insights” get ahead, says deputy foreign minister.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his anti-Semitic rhetoric this week, just days before Sunday’s presidential election that he is expected to win handily.

Turkey’s leadership, especially Erdogan, employs the “manipulative, populist tactic of insulting the Jews” before each election, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told Israel Radio on Monday.

In a country where the voters are Muslim, those with the more anti-Semitic “insights” get ahead, he said.

Israel is remaining calm in the face of these anti-Semitic comments, because any response would only be used by Erdogan as further ammunition in his election campaign, he said.

For instance, at a massive election rally in Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan turned around a demand by the American Jewish Congress to return a 2004 prize it gave him to use it as a springboard for his most recent tirade.

“The American Jewish Association threatens me in their letter,” he said. “I will reply to their letter separately, but I want to call on them from here: They are killing women to stop them for giving birth to Palestinian babies; they kill babies so that they won’t grow up; they kill men so they can’t defend their country.”

Israel “will drown in the blood they shed, there is no such thing as eternal tyranny,” he said. “One day they will pay for their tyranny. We are waiting impatiently to see the day of justice, I believe wholeheartedly that justice will be served.”

“Just like Hitler, who sought to establish a race free of all faults, Israel is chasing after the same target,” Erdogan told the sea of cheering supporters at an Istanbul arena.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who met with Erdogan while she was foreign minister in the late 2000s, was asked on Army Radio whether she thought he was “born an anti-Semite” or just turns into one close to election time.

Diplomatically side-stepping the question directly, she said that it was always clear to her that Erdogan was animated by a “deep, Islamic ideology,” and that his political party was part of the “wider Muslim Brotherhood family” that includes Hamas.

Marvin Hier, the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, called Erdogan “the Joseph Goebbels of our time,” and said “the time has come for world leaders to say that he has now crossed a line, and has crossed a line into the area of anti-Semitism and the world won’t tolerate it.”

The main opposition candidate running against Erdogan, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, also accused Erdogan of populist rhetoric.

“I think the foreign policy issues are used in domestic politics to rally people, but it creates problems and pushes governments into corners,” Ihsanoglu said.

Kurdish candidate Selahattin Demirtas, running a distant third in the polls, urged Erdogan on Sunday to cut economic and military ties with Israel instead of “screaming and shouting.”

“Forget the shouting... If you want to provide help to the Palestinian people, stop fooling the people. With a serious boycott, let’s all together stop the Israeli state’s policies of massacres,” he said at a rally in Istanbul.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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