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November 5, 2015 3:41 pm

Erdogan Landslide No Threat to Country’s Jews, Says Turkish-Jewish Journalist

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo: Wikipedia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo: Wikipedia.

The stunning victory of the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey does not pose a threat to Turkish Jewry, Turkish-Jewish columnist and blogger Karel Valansi told The Algemeiner on Thursday.

Valansi, the political columnist for the Turkish-Jewish weekly, Şalom, said the “public voted for security and against the instability that is perceived with governments formed by coalition.”

After a general election last June produced a hung parliament, this week’s landslide AKP victory handed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s party the option of retaining single-party rule.

Valansi said many Turks believe the country is better off with one-party rule, which she assessed would end up being the case. She said the recent climate of terrorist attacks that proceeded the vote, such as the twin bombings in Ankara this month, as well as an “aggressive nationalist campaign,” were probably behind AKP’s strong standing in the polls.

The campaign was so nationally focused that it “excluded the Jews,” said Valansi. “There was no word on Israel, or Jews as a threat or lobby that want to harm Turkey,” as there have been from AKP officials in the past, she said.

Valansi said she thought Turkish-Israeli relations could benefit from a single-party government as well as the absence of a powerful opposition. Relations between Israel and Turkey have snagged under AKP and its charismatic leader, Erdogan, who has served both as prime minister and now as president.

AKP has warm relations with the terrorist group Hamas, and its leaders have been harshly critical of Israeli policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians. In August, Erdogan met with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

Other analysts do not share Valansi’s optimism about Turkish-Israeli relations. Semi Idhiz, an analyst writing in the Washington-based Middle East website Al-Monitor, wrote, “It is generally believed that prospects for improved relations with Israel are also close to nil.”

And the first Israeli official to comment on the Turkish election results, Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz — who is also considered close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — called the AKP victory “unfortunate.”

Estimates of Turkey’s Jewish community put the population of about 17,500 today, after a large-scale immigration to Israel.

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  • E Pluribus Wombat

    They will be kept as pawns and hostages in Turkey. On the other hand, Erdogan sees his victory as handed to him by Allah so it’s likely he’ll declare war on Israel for nothing. It’s also possible that he will send his army to invade the rest of Cyprus. The west is spineless and otherwise concerned with millions of Arab beggars looking for a handout so they probably won’t interfere. The issue for Israel here are the gas fields and Erdogan can easily buy off Europe and Obama with faint promises to share in his new windfall of gas.

  • Florres

    Jews have been verbally and physically attacked , not even on an hour by hour basis, but on a minute by minute basis, in Turkey over the past decade. As parts of Sharia law dictates, it is very easy to blame any crime on a Jew, to steal something he has. All poor Jews have been murdered out of Turkey a decade ago, some middle class ones hid their identity and moved to a new city. The media has dropped the ball worse ethically than anything anyone has ever done in history, on the world wide Islam (as the excuse) murder and attack of Jews not reported on a daily basis in most of the world.

    In fact, the media too (which claims to be on the right side of thingS) has a daily article refuting that this is happening, to help the deniers cesnor it.

    It’s noot just the daily physical and verbal abuse known Jews , until they left, faced in 140 countries, daily from Mumbai to Norway to Morocco, (especially and this is key, if they are not rich, a few connected rich Jews are always used to pretend this is not happening) it is also the stealing of land , as always, and small businesses, and ideas. It is as easy to erase this as it ever was if not easier.

    My point: there are much much fewer Jews in Turkey than there were 15 years ago. Anti-semites steal. It is obvious, and the media today is part of the greatest evil.