Statement by PM Erdogan Against Anti-Semitism- January 16:

Vaşington Büyükelçiliği 27.01.2009


Excerpts from PM Erdoğan’s speech at the AK Party Headquarter on January 16, 2009:

…“My dear brothers and sisters, I talked about the tragedy taking place in Gazza at our Parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday. Anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity. I am one of the first leaders to say this. I say this as a Prime Minister in the region with a strong voice, anti Semitism and Islamophobia is a huge danger. These lands, have never been accomplice to this crime against humanity; nor did it turn a blind eye to it or tolerated it. On the contrary, when the Jews were faced with persecution, it was our ancestors who opened their arms to them. We are part of a civilization of love and tolerance. We can not accept any kind of ethnic, religious or sectarian discrimination, and we can not tolerate those who do that.

No matter the religion, language, ethnicity, or denomination of a person, whoever lives under this flag is a first class citizen of this country. We all breathe the same air, eat the food offered by this land, and live under the same sky. We share the same destiny under the broader identity of Turkish citizenship. We equally benefit from the climate of tolerance of these lands and this civilization. That is why our Jewish citizens show an honorable stance at any event that attacks humanity. Chief Rabbi in Turkey, İzak Haleva expressed his deep sadness regarding the Israeli actions. Yesterday, the Jewish community in Turkey made another statement reiterating their grievance caused by the ongoing Israeli operations. They underscored the importance that they attribute to Turkey’s efforts for peace and they made a call for an immediate ceasefire to end the sufferings. The Orthodox Patriarch of Fener prayed for the success of Turkey’s efforts for peace in their religious services.

The Republic of Turkey and its Government are the guarantor of the peace and security of all the minorities in Turkey, namely the Armenians, the Jews, the Greek Orthodox community and other Christians. It is wrong to act sentimentally and show irrational reactions to our citizens belonging to these communities. I especially refer to a placard seen in one of our towns, whereby it was stated: “Dogs can enter to this shop but not these and those” and I think this is very wrong. These kinds of expressions can not be used by someone who has grasped the sensitivity of Turkish citizenship or someone who understands and knows the deep rooted spirit of tolerance guiding the Turkish people. I can not tolerate that anyone feels him or herself under pressure or anxiety in my country.

…All 70 million of our people should know that the rights and laws protecting every single one of our citizens are under our trust.

…Let me repeat this one more time: Everybody living in this country, under this flag and identifying themselves with the broader identity of Turkish citizenship, are first class citizens and people with whom we share the same emotion of jointly developing our country. Besides, people who come to visit our country are equally important for us and are under the same trust. It is (incumbent upon) the responsibility of everybody to pay attention that the protests, the reactions and the comments that are made do not offend our own citizens. We understand that demonstrations are made, feelings on what’s happening in Gaza are expressed and these actions are denounced. However, as I said, it is never acceptable to provoke our citizens against another group of our own citizens. We can never approve that. We will not and we can not allow any attempt that would call into question the boundless tolerance culture of this country.


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