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Turkish Officials' Anti-Semitic Viewpoints Evident

By    |   Monday, 15 Dec 2014 02:31 PM

Anti-Semitism is alive and well in modern Turkey, where the nation’s embattled Jewish community is the target of a modern-day form of ethnic cleansing, according to a Turkish journalist.

"The sweet little secret in both Turkey and Europe is that anti-Semites do not need the existence of a Jewish state to attack or threaten Jews," journalist Uzay Bulut writes in a column published Monday by the Gatestone Institute. "Hatred of Jews did not start with the re-establishment of the state of Israel."

Bulut points to the example of Edirne, a city of more than 140,000 in northwestern Turkey near the borders of Greece and Bulgaria. While approximately 13,000 Jews lived in Edirne in 1923, only two live there today in the wake of a 1934 pogrom and decades of persecution and forced assimilation and resettlement pushed by various Turkish national governments.

Last month, Dursun Ali Sahin, governor of Edirne, announced he would turn the city’s synagogue into a museum because he was angry at Israeli policy towards the Palestinians.

"While those bandits [Israeli security forces] blow winds of war inside al-Aqsa and slay Muslims, we build their synagogues " he said.

"I say this with a huge hatred inside me," Sahin added. "We clean their graveyards, send their projects to boards. But the synagogue here will be registered only as a museum, and there will be no exhibitions inside it."

An uproar followed, Sahin apologized, and officials announced that the synagogue would not be turned into a museum after all.

But there is a larger question, Bulut asks:

"Now that the ethnic-cleansing campaign of the Turkish regime has been ‘successfully’ completed, and there are only two Jews left in Edirne, why is the governor of the city still so angry and filled with such a ‘huge hatred?’ Is he angry that there are almost no Jews left to persecute . . . so that he has to threaten a synagogue instead?"

Public attitudes toward Jews in Turkey a country whose president likened Israelis to Nazis while on the campaign trail are unlikely to soften anytime soon.

During his successful run for president this summer, Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a longtime supporter of Hamas, accused Israel of deliberately killing Palestinians and likened Israel’s actions to those of Hitler.

"Just like Hitler, who sought to establish a race free of all faults, Israel is chasing after the same target," Erdogan told cheering supporters at an Istanbul arena. "They kill women so that they will not give birth to Palestinians; they kill babies so that they won't grow up; they kill men so they can't defend their country ... They will drown in the blood they shed," he said.

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Anti-Semitism is alive and well in modern Turkey, where the nation's embattled Jewish community is the target of a modern-day form of ethnic cleansing, according to a Turkish journalist.
Jews, Israel, Turkey, Hamas
449
2014-31-15
Monday, 15 Dec 2014 02:31 PM
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