Senior Turkish Officials Blame Problems on Jews
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.