Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Turkey's Islamist Leaders: Anti-Erdogan Protests 'A Jewish Conspriracy'
Turkey's Islamist deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay has joind Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan and other members of the Islamist AKP Party in finding a convenient and traditional scapegoat for the unrest and protests sweeping the country - it's the Jews, of course:
Turkey was rocked by violent protests last month when a small effort to save Gezi Park in central Istanbul from redevelopment mushroomed into a mass demonstration by tens of thousands of people opposed to what they see as Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule.
Erdogan, in power for ten years, and other officials have cited conspiracies involving "foreign circles", an "interest-rate lobby", foreign media and terrorists engineering the protests to undermine Turkey's economy and political clout. Atalay's comments pointed the finger at the 'Jewish diaspora".
"There are those inside and outside the country who are envious about Turkey growing too much," said Atalay, one of four deputy prime ministers.
"They are all uniting. On the one side you have the Jewish diaspora. You have seen the foreign media's attitude over the Gezi Park events, how quickly they bought into it and how quickly and widely they started broadcasting before any assessment was made," he said.
While Erdogan used a thinly disguised code, ATalay came right out and named the Jews as Turkey's enemies, like the Islamist he is. So did the Turkish capitol of Ankara's AKP Mayor Melih Gokcek, who referred to the protests as "a game of the Jewish lobby".
Needless to say, the Obama Administration is not asking their Islamist friends in Turkey for an explanation.
There are 23,000 Jews in Turkey, mostly represented by the Turkish Jewish Community organization and they're petrified that this new 'dual loyalty' accusation could lead to violent reprisals by the regime. After all, it wouldn't be the first time this mostly Muslim country has engaged in murderous violence against non-Muslims in Turkey.
The Armenian Genocide,which Turkey still has yet to acknowledge occurred just 99 years ago:
"We are trying to obtain information about the meaning, the scope and details of Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay's statement about the 'Jewish Diaspora being behind Gezi protests'", the Turkish Jewish Community and chief rabbinate said in a joint statement on the community's website.
"Turkish Jewish citizens, as well as other Jewish people living all around the globe, may be affected and pointed (out) as a target of such a generalization, we wish to express our concerns and share our apprehension and worry of the consequences that such perceptions can cause."
I'd say that worry is well founded.