In November 1998, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research released its annual report on current trends in anti-Semitism across the world. In the section for Turkey, the journal quoted the then-mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in June 1997, at a meeting organized by the municipality to celebrate the city's conquest by the Ottoman Turks, remarking: "The Jews have begun to crush the Muslims of Palestine, in the name of Zionism," the mayor said, "Today, the image of the Jews is no different from that of the Nazis."
Erdogan later became, and still is, the Prime Minister of Turkey, a man whom President Obama describes as a personal friend, in a country that is a member of NATO, and head of a government that is regarded as moderate, and, as the London Times recently reflected, an example of how Islamism and democracy do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Two other comments of Erdogan have also been publicized by Turkish newspapers:
- The media does not fully report Israel's "murder of innocent children" because the "world's media is under the control of Israel, and this needs to be emphasised." (Yeni Safak)
- "[W]herever Jews settle, they make money. They are not property owners, as being tenants suits them best. On the other hand, whatever we have or do not have, we will invest in our houses." (Taraf)
Westrop notes that after Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) produced a video in January of Morsi describing "Zionists" as "the descendants of apes and pigs," it required 2 weeks to pass and massive criticism before the media noticed and eventually a condemnation from the White House.
Is it safe to assume that since Turkey is considered a major ally of the West, and a good friend of Obama, that these antisemitic comments by Erdogan will never been reported by the media -- let alone condemned by the Obama administration?
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