Dec 19 2017

Backlash against Jews in Turkey, U.S. conservative website says

There has been a strong backlash against Israel, the United States, and sometimes Jews in general on Turkish social media in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement that his country would move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, U.S. conservative news website Newsmax said.

“I fear for the Jews in Turkey,” it quoted journalist Uzay Bulut as saying. “And I wish they would leave the country while they can. After what the Turks did to Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Christians in the 20th Century, I am really afraid of a pogrom against the Jews.”

One possible factor in making the issue particularly salient among Turkish citizens might be their president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has sought to position himself as a champion of Palestine, it said.

It quoted Erdoğan as reciting a Hadith at a recent rally that appeared to reflect a belief that Muslims would massacre Jews in the end times.

Academic Louis Fishman, however, said the Newsmax article was “full of clichés” and was “stirring the pot”.

“It includes a Turkish expert that basically tells Jews to leave Turkey,” he tweeted. “While I am not a Turkish Jew, this is downright offensive. You think the Turkish Jews need such advice? They are an ancient old community and indeed understand the topic well.”

The Jewish population of Turkey has however dwindled from around 80,000 in 1948 to just 17,300 in recent years.

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