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July 31, 2013 6:32 am

Bipartisan Letter Criticizes Turkish Officials’ Anti-Semitic Comments

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: World Economic Forum. Members of U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee have sent a bipartisan letter to Turkish President Abdullah Gül asking for the condemnation of recent anti-Semitic statements by Turkish officials.

The letter by Brad Schneider (D-IL), Randy Weber (R-TX), Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) was signed by 46 U.S. Representatives and noted remarks by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referring to Zionism as a “crime against humanity.”

Recep Erdoğan also mentioned “the Interest rate lobby” in reference to the protests in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which the U.S. Representatives’ letter called “a thinly veiled reference to Jews.” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay also recently blamed the “Jewish diaspora” as one of the communities fueling the Turkish demonstrations against Recep Erdoğan.

The U.S. Representatives wrote of the close relationship between the Obama administration and Turkey, urging the Turkish government “to publicly condemn the use of anti-Semitic rhetoric by government officials,” which “has no place in a democracy.”

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