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July 3, 2013 9:00 am

Jewish Groups Slam Turkish Deputy PM’s Jewish Blame Claim

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Demonstrators in Turkey's Taksim Gezi Park. Photo: Wikipedia.

Several Jewish organizations have condemned statements reportedly made Tuesday by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay accusing the “Jewish diaspora” of causing unrest in his country.

Atalay was quoted by various media outlets as saying the “Jewish diaspora” was responsible for “the conspiracy” that was “trying to block the way of Great Turkey.”

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations released a statement on behalf of Chairman Robert G. Sugarman and Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Malcolm Hoenlein, warning that “Such comments are becoming more commonplace as the government seeks excuses for the outrage of its citizens,”  and that political leaders “must be held accountable for the irresponsibility and consequences of their diatribes.”

The Anti-Defamation league likewise chastised the remarks and called on the Turkish prime minster and other government officials to “publicly and vociferously reject Mr. Atalay’s statement” if the reports about his remarks are accurate.

“The anti-Semitic nature of this conspiratorial statement would be disturbing if uttered by anyone in Turkey,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “It is all the more outrageous and harmful coming from such a high ranking member of the Turkish government. We share the concerns expressed by the Turkish Jewish community about the possible consequences of this rash remark.”

The Turkish Jewish community released a statement Tuesday expressing its own worry over the reports.

“We would like to express our concern that all Jews around the world, including Turkish Jews, may become the target because of this sort of generalization in almost every situation,” the statement read.

Following the outcry, Atalay’s press office claimed in a written statement Tuesday that the minister had not said anything offensive to Jews.

“In his speech [Deputy PM Atalay] has never intended, uttered or indicated anything to offend Jewish citizens of Turkey or Jewish communities around the world,” the statement said.

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  • Kris Kristian

    Time for the “old” Turkish military to follow what has happened in Egypt.
    Get rid of the dictator and his government
    I believe that when this governement took over , they arrested all the old generals.
    With the Turkish military in power, they can once again restore the trust and co-operation with Israel.

    • What you re seeing here is ntiohng like what happened in Egypt or Libya, where pro-democracy advocates tried to overthrow dictators, but ended up with Islamists. Here the protests are aiming to put a stop to an Islamist state in-the-making, if Erdogan, who is already in power, has his way. Turkey is known for being a secular democracy, although the burden of Islam makes the society far from free. But at least it was heading in the right direction—until Erdogan was elected in 2002. Those you see here are most likely the young who’ve learned lots about freedom from the Internet, and those older secular Turks who want to stop Erdogan—perhaps they’ve lived in Europe or America and have tasted freedom Where are all the headscarved women? Nowhere in sight, apparently. That’s telling. Erdogan’s vision for Turkey suits them just fine, thanks.

  • Aron Bally

    The poor guy should read about the end of the Third reich . It will give him an advise what is the end of such policy and language( See for example Julius Schtreicher)

  • Mel

    Would Atalay have the entire Jewish Diaspora switch from Turkey to Brisket? The United States is unlikely to agree.

  • Steven Kalka

    Conspiracy theories appeal to weak minds. Case in point.

  • HaroldT

    Have the Jews of Turkey not learnt from nazi-Germany.
    The writing is on the wall. Get out of Turkey.

  • joshua stein

    Ha Ha this is silly. The deluded deputy Turkish PM is probably thinking back to the Ottoman Empire. Great Turkey my ass.