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Turkey slams US claims Erdogan’s remarks ignite anti-Semitism

May 20, 2021 at 12:08 pm

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds up a map of Palestine as he speaks at the 74th session of UN General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York, United States on 24 September 2019. [Erçin Top – Anadolu Agency]

The head of media and communications in the Turkish presidency, Fahrettin Altun, yesterday condemned the United States for claiming that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s criticism of Israel ignites “anti-Semitism”.

Earlier on Tuesday, the State Department criticised what it called Erdogan’s “anti-Semitic” remarks amid his denunciation of Israel’s air strikes on Gaza.

“The United States strongly condemns President Erdogan’s recent anti-Semitic comments regarding the Jewish people and finds them reprehensible,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“We urge President Erdogan and other Turkish leaders to refrain from incendiary remarks, which could incite further violence,” he added.

Responding to the remarks, Altun wrote on Twitter: “The U.S. statement about our President Erdogan’s remarks on the Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians is absolutely unacceptable. Those who do not have the courage and decency to condemn the killing of children have no moral standing to lecture anyone.”

“Speaking about an Israeli Prime Minister who expressed his enjoyment of killing Muslims is not anti-Semitism. It is an unfortunate reality of some Israeli leaders’ mindset” he added.

Altun stressed that Erdogan has consistently called out “anti-Semitism as well as Islamophobia and xenophobia while opposing Israel’s persecution of Palestinians.”

READ: Erdogan is supportive toward us, Turkey’s Jewish community says