President Hussein Obama’s self-proclaimed ‘best friend in the Middle East,’ Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has compared Israel to Nazis.
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.
Birikim, a Turkish socialist culture magazine, also attributes the quote to Erdogan. A search through Western newspaper records, however, shows no mention at all of these comments.
That remark is not the only example of Erdogan’s hostility in this regard. Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak has reported Erdogan commenting that 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.”
It took more than two weeks for the mainstream media to report Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy’s anti-Semitic comments. How long will it take to report Erdogan’s?