Daily Israel Report

Turkish Prime Minister: Israel Behind Egypt Coup

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's latest comments entirely consistent with a history of anti-Semitic remarks and conspiracy theories.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 8/20/2013, 12:34 PM

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
AFP/File
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Israel is behind the removal of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian military.

“Israel is behind the coup in Egypt, we have evidence,” Erdogan declared to members of his party meeting in Ankara on Tuesday, according to the Turkish Today's Zaman.

Erdogan reportedly cited an unnamed French intellectual who he claims said in 2011 that the Muslim Brotherhood won’t be in power even if they are elected because “democracy is not the ballot box.” Erdogan stressed that the intellectual was Jewish, the implications of which are consistent with a long string of anti-Semitic comments and conspiracy theories issued by the Islamist Prime Minister, whose AKP party is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood

Last month, in reference to both the upheaval in Egypt and anti-government protests in his own country, Erdogan stated cryptically that:

“The origin of the incidents in both countries is the same. I will declare what that origin is when the time comes. It is saved in our memory cards."

The previous month he claimed that “those against whom we said ‘one minute’ are now delighted,” at the unrest in Turkey. Erdogan was referencing his reaction to Israeli President Shimon Peres during the 2009 Davos Forum, in which he uttered "one minute" before storming off stage. That incident preceded a serious diplomatic crisis between the two countries, as Edogan's Islamist government sided with Hamas during Israel's Operation Cast Lead counter-terrorism operation.

Erdogan added that "even if not in such a manner, we had foreseen these events as a series of conspiracies three months ago. We had received some intelligence reports."

But Erdogan and his associates have made far more overtly anti-Semitic statements as well.

Erdogan's Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay previously claimed that the “Jewish Diaspora” was behind the "Gezi Square" protests in Turkey.

In 1998, the Jewish Policy Research reported that Erdogan, who was serving as mayor of Istanbul at the time, stated that: “the Jews have begun to crush the Muslims in Palestine, in the name of Zionism. Today, the image of the Jews is no different than that of the Nazis.” 

Apart from anti-Semitism, Erdogan - the leader of a NATO-member state and a man US President Obama has described as one of the few leaders with whom he has developed bonds of trust - has also made overtly racist remarks about black people.

In June, Commentator Magazine reported Erdogan's criticism of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the center-left and secular Republican Peoples Party (CHP).

Using an offensive term for black people ("Zenci") Erdogan said:

“Kılıçdaroğlu is striving every bit he can to raise himself from the level of a black person to the level of a white man.”