The Turkish dissidents kidnapped from Europe (& ‘Jew’ Sarah Jessica Parker attacked by Erdogan MP)

December 20, 2018

The plane used for kidnapping Turkish civilians in Kosovo, sitting alongside President Erdogan’s own plane, at Tegel Airport, Berlin, September 27, 2018

 

Sarah Jessica Parker is the latest to be on the receiving end of anti-Semitic attacks from Erdogan supporters. Below there is also an article that mentions “Mastermind”, a “documentary” produced by a pro-Erdogan’s TV station, that claims to show 3,500 years of the Jews’ plots to undermine Turkey and the world

 

ERDOGAN’S LONG ARM: THE TURKISH DISSIDENTS KIDNAPPED FROM EUROPE

[Notes by Tom Gross]

This dispatch concerns Turkey, a country which under the increasingly dictatorial President Erdogan has one of the world’s worst human rights records, but remains a NATO member.

Last week, journalists from nine international media outlets together released a report on the disappearances and kidnappings of Turkish journalists, human rights activists, and ordinary citizens, that has been occurring not just in Turkey itself but on the streets of Europe, Asia and Africa over the last two years.

Those who subsequently got away, told western journalists in Europe that they had been “frequently beaten by guards, subjected to electric shocks, threatened with rape and warned their family would also be raped unless they gave false statements against others.”

I attach two articles from one of these nine media outlets, the Israeli paper Haaretz:

“Kidnapped, Escaped, and Survived to Tell the Tale: How Erdogan’s Regime Tried to Make Us Disappear”.

And “Revealed: Turkey Uses These Jets to Abduct Dissidents”.

The United Nations says that in addition around 160,000 people have been publicly arrested, including hundreds of journalists, judges and prosecutors, since the failed coup of July 2016 – a coup many say was orchestrated by Erdogan himself as an excuse to institute the widespread repression that followed.

 

THE SECRET JEWISH PLOT AGAINST TURKEY

The third article below, “The Secret Jewish Plot Against Turkey”, is by the British academic expert on Turkey, Dr Simon Waldman.

He writes: “Erdogan, who rose out of a party whose leader compared Jews to bacteria, likes to name-drop ‘The Mastermind’: a Jewish conspiracy preventing Turkey taking its rightful place as a world superpower. No surprise, then, that he’s now targeting George Soros.”

“In Turkey,” writes Waldman, “anti-Semitic conspiracies are not merely present, they are part and parcel of government ideology.”

Among them is the absurd claim that “the Jew [French intellectual] Bernard-Henri Levy” working with the Mossad, has tried to destroy Turkey by supporting the 2017 independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.

 

TURKEY NOT ONLY JAILING WRITERS, BUT READERS TOO

Foreigners living in Turkey are also being arrested for having the “wrong” books on their shelves.

Austrian journalist Max Zirngast writes in the Washington Post following his release:

“It started as a normal raid. Shortly before 6 A.M. on Sept. 11, Turkish anti-terrorism police showed up at my apartment door in Ankara with an arrest warrant. They rifled through my books, found some titles by liberal writers they don’t like and took me into custody.”

He then describes the harrowing interrogations he was subjected to in jail, while they tried to force him to say he supported basic rights for Kurds.

As an Austrian he was released. Turks are not so lucky.

For example, last week Professor Gencay Gursoy, one of the country’s leading neurologists, aged 79, was sentenced to 26 months in prison, for signing a petition three years ago calling for reconciliation talks between Turkey and the country’s repressed Kurdish minority.

Turkey ranks 157 out of 180 in the World Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders, below Russia.

Only countries such as Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are ranked lower.

But unlike Turkey, those countries don’t aspire to join the European Union, and don’t belong to NATO.

 

‘JEW’ SARAH JESSICA PARKER’ ATTACKED BY ERDOGAN MP

A key ally of President Erdogan in the Turkish Parliament on Monday attacked Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker for allegedly undermining Turkey.

In attacking the American actress, Turkish MP Aydin Ünal told the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper: “Her father and her husband are Jewish. She is also a notorious Israel defender.”

The basis for Ünal’s attack was a photo of Parker published last week on the website of Vogue magazine in New York in which she can be seen with a copy of a new collection of short stores by Selahattin Demirtas, a Kurdish pro-democracy activist imprisoned in Turkey. The photo was widely reproduced in pro-Erdogan media in Turkey.

In Demirtas’ collection of short stories (called ‘Dawn’), he “captures the voices of ordinary people living through extraordinary times,” according to the book’s American publishers. “A cleaning lady is caught up in a violent demonstration on her way to work. A five-year-old girl attempts to escape war-torn Syria with her mother by boat. A suicide bombing shatters a neighborhood in Aleppo.”

Parker’s father is Jewish as is the mother of her husband Matthew Broderick. She has almost never publically spoken about Israel though she has said she finds it hard to debate extreme critics of Israel. She told one interviewer: “I can’t have the conversation [with them] because there’s no logic that applies. If you don’t understand why Israel has to defend itself.… that the extremists want the Jews gone. So why should the Jews feel safe?”

One of Turkey’s few remaining independent news outlets yesterday called Ünal’s remarks racist, and said “being Jewish is not a crime.”

 

VIOLENT VIDEOS AS PEOPLE TRY TO PROTECT A PARK

For more information on the violently repressed 2013 Gezi Park protests against government plans to demolish one of Istanbul’s last remaining green spaces, which are referred to in the Haaretz article below, please watch these shocking videos:

http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001368.html

I also noted in 2013 that Erdogan claimed then that Gezi Park protests were a “Jewish conspiracy” against Turkey.

http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001372.html

Most of Turkey’s historic Jewish community has left and there only about 20,000 Jews remaining in Turkey, living among 80 million Muslims. (Before Erdogan, Turkey was relatively tolerant towards Jews, and also helped some Greek Jews escape during the Holocaust.)

For more on the current investigation into kidnappings of Turkish opponents of Erdogan, see here:

https://correctiv.org/en/top-stories-en/2018/12/06/black-sites/

I attach three articles below.

 

ARTICLES

HOW ERDOGAN’S REGIME TRIED TO MAKE US DISAPPEAR

Kidnapped, Escaped, and Survived to Tell the Tale: How Erdogan’s Regime Tried to Make Us Disappear
Ever since the coup attempt in Turkey it happens again and again. Now, two victims describe what it’s like to be cut off from the world, tortured and pressured to testify against their friends
By Rachel Goldberg
Haaretz
December 12, 2018

BERLIN – One morning in the first half of 2017, a black van stopped on a street in the Turkish capital Ankara. Two men in civilian clothes stepped out and pounced on a man walking by. They dragged him into the van and sped off. The whole incident took no more than a few minutes, according to media reports and human rights groups.

The man who was kidnapped tried to fight off his assailants, but they beat him, covered his head with a black hood and cuffed his feet, he said. A year after the incident, he still has a big scar on his leg, a souvenir of the wound he sustained during the kidnapping.

“I quickly realized that there was no point in trying to defend myself, and that I had to calm down and act in a calculated way,” the man, who is using the pseudonym Tolga, told Haaretz and other journalists in a joint investigation by nine international media coordinated by the nonprofit newsroom CORRECTIV.

As the kidnappers’ vehicle approached the facility where Tolga would remain for months, he heard a large iron gate open. He was taken to a closed facility, where he was put in a cell. The door closed and he could hear instructions over a loudspeaker: Every time there was a knock at the door, he would have to turn to the wall and look at the floor so he would not see his captors.

“I saw all my loved ones before my eyes – I thought they were going to kill me,” he said.

In the weeks following his abduction, his relatives, along with lawyers and human rights activists, tried to locate Tolga but could find out nothing. His family launched a campaign on social media, and also appealed to the foreign media and the international community – but not a shred of information could be found.

Since the coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, several disappearances of civilians have been reported; most occurred in Ankara in broad daylight. They all follow a similar pattern: The victims were pulled into a black commercial vehicle, a Volkswagen van, by people who didn’t try to conceal themselves. Subsequent attempts to locate the abducted person failed, and many families reported that the authorities ignored their requests for help.

Testimonies, videos and documents that reached Haaretz and the other journalists raise suspicions that the Turkish government is behind the forced disappearance of Turkish citizens, most of them linked to the movement of the cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania and who the government accuses of orchestrating the attempted coup.

Tolga and another man, Ali (also a pseudonym), related separately and without knowing each other the chain of events. They both said they were held for a long time in facilities they could not identify, and that for their entire captivity they had no access to the outside world. They underwent interrogation and torture designed to make them testify against their friends.

By press time, the Turkish government had not responded to queries about forced disappearances. But Mustafa Yeneroglu, the chairman of the Turkish parliament’s human rights committee, told BBC Turkey in June 2017 that the committee had opened an investigation into the cases that had been referred to it.

Turkish officials, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan among them, have rejected accusations of torture during arrests in Turkey. Officials have called such accusations unfounded and said the government’s policy is “zero tolerance for torture.”

The shock of the night of July 15, 2016, can still be felt in Turkey. That night, a group of army officers tried to take over key installations in Ankara, Istanbul and other cities, with the declared objective of taking power in defense of a democratic and secular Turkey. But forces loyal to the government, helped by many civilians, quelled the coup within 12 hours. In one of the night’s most dramatic moments, Erdogan recorded a cellphone message that was broadcast on TV in which he blamed Gulen for staging the putsch.

After the failed coup, Erdogan launched a campaign against alleged opponents of the regime. At least 150,000 people were fired and thousands of institutions linked to Gulen were closed. Around 160,000 people were arrested, including hundreds of journalists, police commanders, judges and prosecutors, the United Nations said. These people are usually taken to Turkish prisons and other official detention facilities, unlike the cases of Tolga and Ali, who apparently aren’t the only ones to suffer an ordeal.

Haaretz and the other journalists recently met with Tolga in a hotel room in a Western European country, where he has received asylum based on human rights violations that threatened his life. For several hours Tolga described his experiences during and after his arrest. “The cell I was in was 2 meters by one and a half meters,” he said. “The floor was dark and covered in soft cloth, as were the walls, apparently so that inmates couldn’t commit suicide by bashing their heads against them.”

At the beginning, Tolga said, he was interrogated frequently; guards beat him, delivered electric shocks, threatened him with rape and warned him that they would do the same to his family if he did not cooperate. Tolga said the room looked like it had been designed for torture.

“High on the wall were rings for attaching hands to the wall, with lower ones for the feet. There were other torture instruments and clubs,” he said. Tolga’s statements could not be independently verified, but the day after his release he documented his story on videotape, which the researchers watched.

Tolga had worked in an institution that is identified with Gulen and was closed down after the coup attempt. He was a member of Gulen’s movement for years, and his interrogators wanted him to supply information related to that. “They showed me photos of people from work; they pointed to them and asked questions,” he said.

Tolga says his captors wanted to recruit him to take part in trials against Gulen’s movement as an anonymous witness, testifying from behind a curtain to conceal his identity. Eren Keskin, a lawyer and human rights activist who was involved in cases accused of taking part in the failed coup, confirmed for researchers that this was common practice.

“They use anonymous witnesses because there is no other evidence,” she said. “This is an undemocratic method that doesn’t exist in law-abiding states.”

Toward the end of his detention, Tolga said, he pretended to collaborate with his captors and the torture abated. “They told me they could send instructions to the courts and all charges against me would be dropped,” he said. “We’ll give you a new identity, money, everything you need – just help the state, that’s all. They always referred to themselves as the state.”

One day he was taken by car back to the center of Ankara and released. He quickly went underground, and when he got a chance, he fled to Europe. “Neither myself nor my family have gotten over the trauma,” he said. “These people use all the state’s power.”

Ali also worked at an institution associated with Gulen, and was abducted in broad daylight in a city in western Turkey. He was missing for a long time. He too says he was kept in a small cell in a large facility he couldn’t identify. Every day he was interrogated and tortured for hours. He says he was forced to stand for hours with his head in a sack, and when he collapsed he was told to stand up.

“They told me I’m a terrorist and accused me of all sorts of things,” he said in his interview. “When the government doesn’t have enemies, they can’t steer the country in the direction they want to.”

Ali said it seemed that the interrogators had many sources of information, and that they had detailed knowledge about his children. After his release, Ali also managed to flee to Western Europe, where he received refugee status.

Concerns about the fate of Turkish citizens who have disappeared drove the director of Human Rights Watch in Europe and Central Asia, Hugh Williamson, to write to Turkey’s justice minister in August. Williamson called for an urgent investigation, saying there was reason to believe that government agents had abducted the missing persons.

In addition, family members have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, which in turn asked the Turkish government to clarify whether government agents had taken part in abductions. Also, last year, members of the largest opposition party, the Republican People’s Party, called on then-Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to release information on the investigation of 11 civilians thought to have been “disappeared.”

The United Nations defines “forced disappearance” as an instance in which a person’s liberty is denied by agents working for a government that later denies any involvement while refusing to divulge information on the whereabouts or fate of the abducted person.

This isn’t a new phenomenon in Turkey. At the height of the government’s campaign against the Kurds in the 1990s, hundreds of civilians disappeared, according to UN sources. Ozturk Turkdogan, a lawyer who heads Turkey’s Human Rights Association, which represents families of people who have gone missing, told researchers that “apparently this practice is in use again.”

It is of course hard to ascertain how many people have been kidnapped. But the Stockholm Center for Freedom, which was established by journalists who fled Turkey after the coup attempt, says that since 2016, 20 such cases have been reported of academics, teachers and public servants.

One case sounds similar to Tolga and Ali’s stories. According to Politico, witnesses saw Onder Asan, a former teacher who lived in Ankara, being taken into a black car in April 2017. After 42 days in which nothing was known about his fate, he was located in a regular police facility, Politico said.

According to the Stockholm Center for Freedom, Asan told his attorney that he was interrogated and tortured at an unknown location, with no access to the outer world, and that after his release he was told to give himself up to the police. Various media outlets have also provided testimony by another man, Cemil Kocak, who had been abducted by three men in Ankara.

Turkdogan, the attorney who represents families of the missing, said he had transferred the information he had to a UN committee dealing with forced disappearances, as well as to a committee on human rights in Turkey’s parliament, and to the Turkish state prosecution. He says law enforcement agencies in Turkey were making no progress in investigating these cases.

ABDUCTIONS ABROAD

Turkey gives no details on civilians who have disappeared on its territory. It does, however, publish information on Turkish citizens associated with Gulen who have been arrested in other countries and brought back to Turkey by the country’s MIT intelligence service. According to reports in various countries, such operations have taken place in Kosovo, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Gabon and Ukraine.

Such operations are described in the Turkish media as the “return of terrorists.” Erdogan referred to this issue in a speech in Ankara in July to party members: “We’ll return Gulen’s people who fled, thinking they’re safe, one by one,” he declared. “We’ll continue our battle against Gulen supporters who have seriously harmed our country socially, politically and economically, until we completely eradicate them.”

Even though Turkey announced that it was undertaking such operations, it’s unclear how they are carried out. Some details may be gleaned from a widely reported incident that occurred in March in Kosovo.

Early one morning, a jet with the tail marking TC-KLE landed in the capital Pristina. Two hours later it took off with six Turkish citizens, five of them teachers, landing later at an airbase in Ankara. The wife of one of the men said her husband had been abducted by local men who had presented themselves as policemen, after stopping him on the highway in a village near Pristina.

The plane used in Kosovo is owned by the Turkish tourism and construction company Birlesik insaat Turizm Ticaret ve Sanayi. It is registered in Ankara; its address is an apartment building belonging to the Turkish intelligence service, near its headquarters. According to a website that monitors planes, the jet that was used for the alleged abduction was seen in September parked next to Erdogan’s plane while he was visiting Germany. According to the website ADS-B-Exchange, which monitors flights, in early December the plane landed in Venezuela while Erdogan was visiting that country.

Also, in widely reported incident in July, there was a foiled attempt to bring a school principal back from Mongolia to Turkey. He was working in a school associated with Gulen in the capital Ulan Bator. After the man was arrested, his family complained in the media and at the last minute the Mongolian government prevented the plane that had been sent from Turkey from taking off. The jet, photographed by the media, had the tail marking TT-4010. Documents show that the plane is also registered as belonging to the tourist company located in the compound belonging to the Turkish intelligence service.

In the majority of the cases, Turkey is greatly helped by countries where Turkish citizens are arrested. Thus, in September, seven employees of a high school associated with Gulen’s movement were arrested in Chisinau (Kishinev), the capital of Moldova, and flown to Turkey.

According to the Moldovan media, the seven Turkish citizens were picked up by local policemen at home or on the way to the school and flown to an airport near Istanbul. Moldovan authorities said they cooperated with Turkey in arresting the seven men because they “posed a danger to national security.” In this case, the men were flown to Turkey on a plane usually used for chartered flights.

According to senior Turkish officials, Turkey has so far brought back 100 people linked to the Gulen organization, from 18 countries. Amnesty International has complained about these abductions from foreign countries, which are illegal. According to the abductees’ families, after their return to Turkey, many of these men are accused of terrorism and put in regular prisons.

 

REVEALED: TURKEY USES THESE JETS TO ABDUCT DISSIDENTS

Revealed: Turkey Uses These Jets to Abduct Dissidents
Erdogan’s regime arrests Turkish citizens and brings them back to Turkey
Operations have taken place in Kosovo, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Gabon and Ukraine

By Rachel Goldberg
Haaretz
December 12, 2018

BERLIN - Early one morning, a jet with the tail marking TC-KLE landed in the capital of Kosovo, Pristina. Two hours later it took off with six Turkish citizens, five of them teachers, landing later at an airbase in Ankara, a joint investigation by nine international media coordinated by CORRECTIV found.

The wife of one of the men said her husband had been abducted by local men who had presented themselves as policemen, after stopping him on the highway in a village near Pristina.

The plane used in Kosovo is owned by the Turkish tourism and construction company Birlesik insaat Turizm Ticaret ve Sanayi. It is registered in Ankara; its address is an apartment building belonging to the Turkish intelligence service, near its headquarters.

According to a website that monitors planes, the jet that was used for the alleged abduction was seen in September parked next to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plane while he was visiting Germany. According to the website ADS-B-Exchange, which monitors flights, in early December the plane landed in Venezuela while Erdogan was visiting that country.

Also, in widely reported incident in July, there was a foiled attempt to bring a school principal back from Mongolia to Turkey. He was working in a school associated with Erdogan’s nemesis Fethullah Gulen in the capital Ulan Bator.

After the man was arrested, his family complained in the media and at the last minute the Mongolian government prevented the plane that had been sent from Turkey from taking off. The jet, photographed by the media, had the tail marking TT-4010. Documents show that the plane is also registered as belonging to the tourist company located in the compound belonging to the Turkish intelligence service.

In the majority of the cases, Turkey is greatly helped by countries where Turkish citizens are arrested. Thus, in September, seven employees of a high school associated with Gulen’s movement were arrested in Chisinau (Kishinev), the capital of Moldova, and flown to Turkey.

According to the Moldovan media, the seven Turkish citizens were picked up by local policemen at home or on the way to the school and flown to an airport near Istanbul. Moldovan authorities said they cooperated with Turkey in arresting the seven men because they “posed a danger to national security.” In this case, the men were flown to Turkey on a plane usually used for chartered flights.

According to senior Turkish officials, Turkey has so far brought back 100 people linked to the Gulen organization, from 18 countries. Amnesty International has complained about these abductions from foreign countries, which are illegal. According to the abductees’ families, after their return to Turkey, many of these men are accused of terrorism and put in regular prisons.

 

“THE SECRET JEWISH PLOT AGAINST TURKEY"

The Secret Jewish Plot Against Turkey: Erdogan, who rose out of a party whose leader compared Jews to bacteria, likes to name-drop ‘The Mastermind’: a Jewish conspiracy preventing Turkey taking its rightful place as a world superpower. No surprise, then, that he’s now targeting Soros

By Simon A. Waldman
Haaretz (Opinion)
December 13, 2018

For Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling elite, there’s a hidden, pernicious and conspiring hand that works tirelessly against the Republic of Turkey. Were it not for the connivance of this clandestine network, Turkey would be a global power and leader of nations.

Who are these sinister conspirators who plot within the murky shadows of international corporations, governments and transnational bodies against the Turkish Republic? You guessed it: Jews. And global bogeyman George Soros is just one of them.

On November 21, Erdogan pointed the finger at George Soros for apparently conspiring against the Turkish government.

He did this by claiming that the Turkish businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, currently detained and awaiting trial, was working for “the famous Hungarian Jew George Soros.”

Erdogan added that Soros “is a man who was assigned to divide nations and shatter them. He has so much money and he is spending it in these ways,” including, apparently, to orchestrate the 2013 Gezi Park protests against government plans to demolish one of Istanbul’s last remain green spaces, and which became a protest against Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule.

In Turkey, anti-Semitic conspiracies are not merely present, they are part and parcel of government ideology.

Back in 2013 many Turkish citizens took to the streets to protest the imminent demolition of Gezi Park. Soon, the demonstration morphed into widespread protests that expressed discontent towards Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Instead of recognizing that not all in Turkey were satisfied with the Government’s performance, the then Deputy Prime Minister, Besir Atalay, claimed that the chief orchestrators of the protests were not Turks, but international Jewry. One of Erdogan’s chief advisors was even so brazen as to attack government rivals for “raising soldiers for the Jews.”

Baffling economists and political analysts alike, Erdogan accused the Gezi Park protestors of being provocateurs for the “interest rate lobby,” a group whose previous existence was unknown. But as Efrat Aviv notes, in her 2017 book “Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in Turkey,” an explanation emerged - from a newspaper owned by none other President Erdogan’s son-in-law.

Who’s the despicable group seeking to manipulate Turkey’s interest rates for their own profit, to wreak havoc among Turkey’s economy? A network of Jewish financiers, working in cahoots with Opus Dei and the Illuminati!

After the Gezi protests, Erdogan named the body responsible for all of Turkey’s ills and difficulties - “The Mastermind.” Several months later, Haber, a pro-government television channel, aired a documentary also called “The Mastermind.”

With the help of pro-government academics, journalists and other cognoscenti, the documentary explains that Jewish machinations are as ancient as the story of Moses, the descendants of whom, Jews, have sought global dominance for 3,500 years.

It was they who brought down the Ottoman Empire, forced the demise of Islamist governments, and continue to plot against Turkey, even manipulating the U.S. government.

Since then, Erdogan has repeatedly mentioned “The Mastermind.” Since the explanatory documentary has been aired (several times) by a network sycophantic to him, it’s clear that every reference he makes means only one thing: Jews.

Secret Jewish conspiracies are part in parcel of the ideology from the political environment from which Erdogan and the AKP emerged.

The Islamic Milli Gorus (National Outlook) movement surfaced during the 1970s. Central to the Milli Gorus ideological perspective is an idiosyncratic type of anti-Semitism which points the accusatory finger at either Jews or Donmes (followers of the 17th century “false messiah” Shabbtai Zvi) for bringing about the demise of the Ottoman Empire and creating a secular society upon its charred remains.

Such a movement would have been but a meager footnote in the relentlessly vast history of anti-Semitism, were it not for the rise of the Islamic Welfare Party, a later incantation of the Milli Gorus tradition. Under the leadership of Necmettin Erbakan, an old political bruiser if ever there was one, the party entered government in 1996 with Erbakan as Prime Minister, only to be ousted after a military intervention the following year.

Turkey’s precursor to the AKP, the Islamic Welfare Party leader Necmettin Erbakan addresses the last session of his parliamentary group in Ankara. Feb. 17, 1998Turkey’s precursor to the AKP, the Islamic Welfare Party leader Necmettin Erbakan addresses the last session of his parliamentary group in Ankara. Feb. 17, 1998 AP
Erbakan was a rabid anti-Semite of the highest order who liked to rabble rouse about Jewish conspiracies while offering a sprinkle of nasty slurs to top it off. Jews as bacteria, that sort of thing.

Fast forward to today, and is it any wonder that the intellectual inheritors of nonsense passed as knowledge allege that there is a secret Jewish plot against Turkey? And still it continues unabated, and in full force.

Erdogan is on record as making vulgar anti-Semitic slurs (“You are the spawn of Israel!” he told a member of the public who dared to criticize him). He has brazenly stated conspiratorial nonsense such as Jewish capital being behind the New York Times, after the leading daily criticized his anti-democratic practices.

He tried to delegitimize the 2017 independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan by insinuating the referendum was a result of Jewish duplicity. In Erdogan’s words: “You have the former foreign minister of France [Bernard Kouchner] on one side and another Jew [Bernard-Henri Levy] on another, working at the table together,” while also alleging that the Mossad and the Kurds work hand-in-hand.

Turkey’s current financial crisis, a result of the country’s current account deficit, foreign currency debt, lack of central bank autonomy and the President’s aversion to interest rates, has also been blamed on Jews.

In August as the Turkish lira tumbled against the dollar, Burhan Kuzu, AKP co-founder and member of parliament until the June elections of this year, commented that it was “Jewish banking families” who were responsible. Erdogan himself said those behind the 2016 attempted coup were the same people responsible for the currency crisis. Who were those people?

The failed coup of July 2016 was not merely perpetrated by a Gulenist faction among the military. It was, according to supporters of Erdogan, part of a wider Jewish plot.

They claim that Fetullah Gulen, the Turkish Islamic preacher in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania and Turkey’s public enemy number 1, is actually a Jew, a Karaite Jew in fact says Ersin Ramoglu, a columnist from pro-government newspaper Sabah, echoing Fuat Ugur, another pro-Erdogan journalist.

Tamer Korkmaz of the pro-government daily Yeni Safak explained that Gulen is part of the Zionist - Crusader alliance which seeks to reduce Turkey to a colony of the West. According to Korkmaz, the venerable Jewish community organization B’nai Brith is in on the plot!

Such assertions were seconded by other columnists from leading dailies such as Can Kemal Ozer of pro-government Yeni Soz, and AKP parliamentary deputies such as Orhan Deligoz.

From this perspective, Gulenist activities, the chaos in Syria and even the activities of ISIS, are all machinations of the Jewish “Mastermind”, a ventriloquist puppet master, a Jewish Mephistopheles seeking to bring Turkey down.

Turkish anti-Semitism is a central bedrock of the ideological thinking of President Erdogan, his AKP government and their supporters. Try this easy test: The next time you hear of a negative political or economic development in Turkey, look out for the anti-Semitism. You can’t miss it.

 

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