The New Turkish Viciousness

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Erdogan was a protégé of the first Islamist Prime minister of Turkey, Necmettin Erbakan (1996-1997), who was removed from office by the Turkish military. Erbakan mentored the younger Erdogan, and Erbakan’s Welfare Party was transformed by Erdogan into the AKP party. Erbakan yielded a great deal of influence through a transnational network called Milli Gorus (MG) or “National Vision.” MG cooperates with radical cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi through the so-called European Council for Fatwas and Research (ECFR), headed by al-Qaradawi.  Erbakan’s fanatical Jew-hatred was reflected in a 2007 Middle East Media Research Institute rebroadcast of a television interview in which Erbakan alleged that “Jews had sought world domination since the delivery of the Torah.” According to Erbakan, “the safety of Israel …means that they will rule the 28 countries from Morocco to Indonesia . . . All the Crusades were organized by the Zionists.” Erbakan insisted that “racist imperialist Zionism organized 19 Crusades just to reach its goals. To organize the Crusades, it used the Christians.” Erbakan, who referred to Jews as “bacteria,” also claimed Jews invented Protestantism. In a particularly notable flight of paranoia, he declared that a Jewish man named “Kabbalah” originated a scheme for world conquest.

Erbakan originated the call for a close Turkish-Islamic Republic of Iran relationship, which Erdogan has followed as well, albeit he now fancies himself as the reviver of the old Ottoman Empire — an historic rival of the Persian Empire.  Having won three consecutive elections, Erdogan has been able to consolidate his power, and practically eliminated the power of the secular military.  He has replaced the military’s top brass, as well as the judiciary’s, with his own loyalists. Erdogan feels invincible at this time, and that explains his preoccupation with Israel.

Trade between Turkey and Israel has, over the years, grown to significant levels for both countries.  Israel’s exports to Turkey amount to $1.3 billion, while Turkey’s exports to Israel reached $1.8 billion in goods and services.  For Erdogan, however, his personal animus towards Israel overrides the interests of Turkey’s business community.  Erdogan expelled the Israeli ambassador in Ankara and reduced the level of diplomatic ties to Second Secretary.  He has also ordered strip-searches of Israeli passengers in Turkey’s major airports.  And, in a provocative move to further escalate tension in the relations with Israel, last week he announced that he will consider visiting Gaza.

For Israelis, Erdogan has become a vicious enemy, second only to Iran’s Ahmadinejad.  Israelis do, however, cherish the relationship they had with the once friendly secular-Muslim Turkey and hope that cooler heads will somehow restrain Erdogan – ultimately serving the interests of both the Turkish and Israeli people.

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  • Pilnin

    The last time I checked, it is Israel that attacked a ship in international waters and murdered 9 Turkish citizens. Other countries have declared war for much less, Israel itself launched a war against Lebanon when 2 soldiers were kidnapped. Anyway,I didn't expect any better from an article by notorious Israel-firster rag FrontPage.

    • Larry

      Israel was enforcing an announced and legal blockade when Israeli military boarded a ship whilst armed primarily with non-lethal weapons. There upon they were attacked by members of a Turkish terrorist organization that had staged its mission out of Turkey.

      If anybody had grounds for a declaration of war it was Israel, not Turkey.

      Learn your facts and your international law before you make stupid comments.

    • commonsense

      Countries can act in international waters if there are overriding security concerns-that's why you have naval blockades and anti-piracy operations. Those Turkish citizens would still have been alive and kicking if they cooperated with security personnel; it's as simple as that.

      We need to see how Turkey responds if an "Armenian genocide flotilla" was sent into its waters.

    • montlasky

      Meat head!!!

    • UCSPanther

      Still whining about the failed flotilla attempts, I see.

      Those idiots attacked military personel, and they got bagged fair and square.

      Try charging armed military personnel from other countries and see what that gets you…

    • MixMChess

      "Israel that attacked a ship in international waters and murdered 9 Turkish citizens."

      Huh? Israel was LEGALLY enforcing it's naval blockade of Hamas controlled Gaza. Recall, Hamas is at war with Israel (and all Jews worldwide for that matter) and under international law Israel is allowed to do whatever necessary to prevent arms and other weapons from being shipped to Gaza to murder more Jews. Even the UN (in a report released this summer) found the blockade and naval operation of the first flotilla completely LEGAL under international law.

      And the 9 Turkish citizens were members of the terrorist IHH who were determined to murder Jews as part of their mission to Gaza. Gotta love how you condemn Israelis for exercising self-defense against murdering maniacs.

  • Yeshayahu Goldfeld

    I rely on the good sense of the Turkish people to oust Erdogan , one of the vilest opportunists in world politics ,

    • Raymond in DC

      Good sense, unfortunately, won't suffice. The Western-oriented liberals and secularists in Turkey are in relative decline compared to the growing conservative and fundamentalist sectors. It all comes down to demographics, and those with "good sense" don't have the numbers.

      • ziontruth

        Demography is destiny, as Mark Steyn so often likes to say.

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    I was standing near the statue of liberty and there I saw a crowd of people
    standing in a sort of row.They want to go inside the statue,I tought,so I also
    stepped to the back of the cue.The person in front of me turned around and
    to my supprise it was that fellah Erdogan from Turkey.He asked me;you are here
    to sign the pettition,like all the other head of states,what pettition? I asked,well,he
    said to ban all the Jews from Israel and if possible from all places on earth.
    They are all here to sign? yes he said,we are hoping for 600 head of states to sign
    but I,m a Jew I was only visiting the statue of liberty.You are a Jew!!!he said HEY
    fellow heads of state here is a Jew hiding among us KILL him Kill him and then they started coming after me so I ran for my life.That Erdogan fellah was fast Oh boy
    and he got me by the legs……And then I woke up from a nightmare that is recurring
    of lately.

  • aspacia

    The Turks love this guy because he is not as corrupt as the previous secularists. It is a shame. Turkey needs to be expelled from NATO

    • jacob

      Talking about "international law" which Muslims love to invoke every step
      of the way, does or doesn't the international law or conventions support the extraterritorial condition of embassies and consulates.??????????
      Of course, JIMMY WHO allowed the Iranian revolution to invade our embassy
      and imprison our people until he was kicked out of office and now the "ARAB SPRING" in Egypt did the same to the Israeli embassy….
      What does the trigger-happy UN when it comes to condemn Israel, have to
      say about it ????

      Even FIDEL I, the Cuban king and not dictator and much less "President" as
      our abject and rotten media loves to call him, dared not invade foreing
      embassies nor consulates when trying to imprison dissenters…

      • aspacia

        Iran's anger at the U.S. and the West stems from our support of the Shah's coup against their elected president who was going to nationalize Western developed oil wells.
        The UN continually libels or slanders itself against Israel, a very tiny state with no oil that is until recently.

    • Attila the Hun

      Are you kidding ? What do you know about Turkey and the Turks. Erdogan is at least hundreds times more corrupt than secularist. He and his family not only became
      muly millionaire, he and his family stashed away millions in secret foreign bank accounts. What is keeping Erdogan in power is green money which is slowly is drying out. To cover the incoming economic downturn The Turkish Central Bank is printing money as if it were no tomorrow. And the Turkish foreign debt is rising considerably. I do believe Erdogan is using Israel to divert attention from Turkey's economic and Kurdish problem.

      • aspacia

        Two years ago I worked with a Muslim Turk who argued that Erdogan and his cronies are not as corrupt as the secularists. I misworded my claim.

  • turkp

    just about two months ago every other turk voted for erdogan unlike binyamin netanyahoo hanging on to power by the skin of his teeth.. you have take him seriously.. everyone knows bibi is a bull*sh*t artist.. as for this moldovian punk, he definitely has a big mouth.. keep a short leash on the guy, lest he eats his words

    • aspacia

      LOL, ever wonder why turk? Israel is composed of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, etc. Each group argues internally and externally within this state. Criticize Islam or try to function with human rights in Turkey and you are toast. Look at the Kurds.

    • Indioviejo

      The Turks never learned the lesson Ataturk tried to teach them, that Islam is the problem. Once they revert to Islamism, they will decline just as the Ottomans did, only faster. I hope I'll be able to see it.

  • montlasky

    Erdagon is the new Ahmadinajad of Turkey, only he is worse. He lead a nation that has been accepted by the Western World as a potential member of the Economic Union and a stalwart friend to Israel and the USA. It didn't take long to show his true colours and turn Turkey into another Iran with the same outlook as the Ayatollah. He has done his country a deep injustice by behaving like a latter day Adolf Hitler declaring war on Israel if Israel continues it's legal blockade of Hamas and Gaza.
    What a great pity. But then is it? Did anyone expect Cairo to turn so vicious in it's behaviour at the Israeli and US embassies? Of course it was expected! The Jihadists who were kept low by Mubarak have now come to the surface like scum on fresh water!
    The Arab Spring is really a release of the Arabs from dictators who kept them in tow. The leash has been broken and now they have "let slip the dogs of war" and the middle east will be ablaze again in the near future where ever there was an Arab Spring or more accurately and invitation to commit mayhem where ever they are. They have to stopped and they will be stopped by the democratic nations that will ensure that they are stopped.

  • turkp

    spring it is to everyone except israel

    • ziontruth

      The spring of Islamic theocracy, followed by a desert summer with sirocco blasts that leave no vegetation standing. Erdoggydroppings just boasted in Cairo about his country being modern, prosperous and capable. What he doesn't realize is it's right now modern, prosperous and capable by inheritance—the legacy bequeathed by Ataturk. The legacy that the Islamic theocrats in Turkey are doing everything to erase.

      Soon Israel will be the only flower in this cesspool of Islamic hell-holes, with the former best and brightest hope of the Muslim world having gone down the same way as Bill Gates's greenhouses in Gaza.

  • jacob

    Regarding ERDOGAN's sabre rattling , NETHANYAHU should remind him that
    44 years ago the same speech was yelled to the four winds by another Muslim
    leader, the late NASSER and in less than 30 minutes his air force was history

    Therefore, if and when he wants to go for wool, he might come out sheared and
    then, in typical Muslim fashion, run to the UN to pull his chesnuts out of the fire..

    Which comes to prove that the Israeli govmt. should have seized and junked the
    MAVI MARMARA instead of foolishy playing as always, Mr Nice Guy, because
    compassion on criminals is an attempt on virtue…that is, if Gen. BARAK doesn't
    consider he should hand over to Turkish justice, the soldiers charged with killing
    the "insurgents" who tried to kill them….

  • Questions

    What most people don't realize is that Turkey, even decades ago, was intensely Islamic. Mustafa Kemal Attaturk didn't eliminate Islam; he merely kept a lid on it. In the long run, especially given rapid population growth, the leftover aura of the Attaturk cult of personality and official secularism couldn't sustain the arrangements. What happened was inevitable.

    Commentary magazine ran a piece about a year ago on the steady degeneration of Turkey. It's no friend of ours or Israel.

    • Indioviejo

      Your comment is right and your explanation of the cause for Turkish degeneration back into an Islamic retrograde nation is true. I'm awaiting their troubles with satisfaction. It couldn't happen to better people.

  • UCSPanther

    Turkey: Going back to the dark imperialism of the Ottoman age…

  • turkp

    There is no need to worry about Turkey.. It is more secular and more democratic than it ever has been.. There is reason to worry about Israel though.. Israeli secularism and democracy has been under threat from the extreme right wingers and outright racists.. Israel has never been so lonely.. even tiny Micronesia has more friends. You'd best change your uncivilized ways.

    • ziontruth

      "It [Turkey] is more secular and more democratic than it ever has been"

      That familiar Iranian tune, vintage 1979.

      "Israeli secularism and democracy has been under threat from the extreme right wingers…"

      Nope. The only thing that's been under threat in Israel is the monopoly of the suicidal Oslo Left. Nor is it the "extreme right wingers" that have been behind that change, but, ironically, the Arabs in Israel, in both pre- and post-1967 territories, who by their eliminationism, both in language and action, have convinced the majority of the Israeli Jews that any further treaties would be land-for-nothing treaties. And that is now reaching its Q.E.D. with the situation in Egypt.

    • Attila The Hun

      Why should I worry about Turkey, by its 100 birthday(2023) will be split up. The Kurds sooner rather than latter will have their own state, and the Turks can't do damn think. This is not 20th century The Turks can't oppress 20+ million people. They talking about Palestinians which are not even a nation compare to The Kurds. The Turks are marching to their own destruction .
      And Erdogan knows that, he is trying to divert attention away by attacking Israel. He is a perfect example of a mad dog

    • MixMChess

      "Israeli secularism and democracy has been under threat from the extreme right wingers and outright racists.."

      Wrong, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs found that religious observance is actually declining in Israel and less than 8% of the population identifies as ultra-orthodox.

      Israel has and always will continue to respect, protect and guarantee the equal rights of all of its minorities. Can the same be said of any of Israel's neighbors, or any Arab/Islamic country for that matter?

    • marica

      Turkey has never been that much islamic. I believe Erdogan is trying to be like all Islamic countries' honourary king or something. i mean all muslims. we know just before he and his team became the ruling party, they have been talking about how they are going to destroy Ata's republic. for ex Gul once admitted the republican regyme is going to end, "we will destroy the secularism in Turkey" if i were Turkish i would be worrying because they all seem to trying to destroy what Ataturk did decades ago. In arabian spring ghaddafi, esad, mobarak; their regymes corrupted and arabs have no any legal leader right now, and Erdogan is trying to be king of all muslims. he is like a father to them. Thats actually disgusting because while kurdish terror is increasing in Turkish south east the government do not seem to care a lot though. Only main opposition and other opposition party is reacting against terror. I think erdogan and his government should give up on mavi marmara show and get a life. i think there are lots of better and beneficial business to do in his own country.

  • empiricist1

    [His latest threats and contemptuous tone belie a deep hatred for the Jewish State.]

    Did the author mean "betray"?

  • WBrenner

    I predict within one month, unless Erdogan resigns, the Turkish air force will be burning heaps of aircraft grade aluminum, and the turkish Navy will be artificial reefs stimulating the fishing industry all over the bottom of the Meditteranean sea.

  • Mike

    Erdogan is showing his Islamist stripes.He sounds like on of Middle Eastern despots.Anything to score points with the Arab street. A good reason not to let Turkey into the EU.

  • Jason

    Erdogan's posturing is likely in preperation for a post Ahamadinijhad middle east.

    He ignores Iran's internal brutality yet calls for Assad to step down.I suspect he wants Iranian cooperation in pressuring the Kurds,always a thorn in Turkey's side.
    But if Erdogan pushes this current line too far he'll only isolate Turkey's economy,sending them into another depression.Turks demonstrate against Israel now,but if he cripples the economy they'll be deomonstrating against Erdogan and his Islamist party.

    Therefore,despite all the hypocritical [ask a Turkish Kurd] rhetoric about the flotilla it's possible that increased Turkish influence in the region will end up being a positive,for democratic,reform minded arabs AND Israel,though it doesn't look good on the surface.But keep in mind,we're talking about the middle east wherevirtually all politics are a slight of hand act.

  • Jason

    BTW – As to Turkey's relationship with Iran it is highly doubtful Erdogan will risk dragging Turkey into a meglomanical war lead by Iran.But he can see what's coming.The Iranian regime's days are numbered.That's why I think Erdogan is likely positioning himself to pick up the pieces once that regime has fallen.

  • Indioviejo

    This is the moment the Kurds need to carve out their nation from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Let the festivities begin.

  • madameX

    in turkey there are almost 20 millions of kurds but ask how many of them want independency? only terrorists and bdp members want to be an independent state. if they want so, they can leave turkish lands and establish their own country. no patience for this kinda situations. kosovo, south cyprus, garabagh should not be independent as well

  • madameX

    Turkey has never been that much islamic. I believe Erdogan is trying to be like all Islamic countries' honourary king or something. i mean all muslims. we know just before he and his team became the ruling party, they have been talking about how they are going to destroy Ata's republic. for ex Gul once admitted the republican regyme is going to end, "we will destroy the secularism in Turkey" im worrying because they all seem to trying to destroy what Ataturk did decades ago. In arabian spring ghaddafi, esad, mobarak; their regymes corrupted and arabs have no any legal leader right now, and Erdogan is trying to be king of all muslims. he is like a father to them. Thats actually disgusting because while kurdish terror is increasing in Turkish south east the government do not seem to care a lot though. Only main opposition and other opposition party is reacting against terror. I think erdogan and his government should give up on mavi marmara show and get a life. i think there are lots of better and beneficial business to do in his own country.