Understanding Turkish PM Erdogan’s Racist Crack

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Here’s the story…

Every Tuesday, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses his Justice and Development Party (AKP) cohorts… Criticizing Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the center-left and secular Republican Peoples Party (CHP), Erdoğan declared, “Kılıçdaroğlu is striving every bit he can to raise himself from the level of a black person to the level of a white man.”

And here’s the background…

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is likely of Kurdish origin, though there are some questions about his ethnicity. Kurds are a repressed group in Turkey. They certainly are not black (though as mentioned before, Turkey has a large number of descendants of African slaves, the Afro-Turks), but that doesn’t necessarily matter.

Racism is relative. Afro-Turks, for example, are referred to as Arabs, which tells us that Turks see themselves as “white” and Arabs as “black”.

Erdogan isn’t just using black as an insult. He’s suggesting that Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is racially inferior because of his Kurdish origins to the “white” Turks.

The undertone is the ongoing bigotry against Kurds in Turkish society. A bigotry that has resulted in unheard of political and cultural persecution in a country that claims to want to join the EU.

  • Gee

    Turkey has already talked the EU into not letting them in, now they are working on NATO to kick them out.

    Islam is a fundamentally racist, xenophobic and fascist regime

  • defcon 4

    Their status as second class citizens didn’t stop the Kurdish muslimes from enthusiastically cooperating in the genocide and enslavement of 2.5 million Armenian and Assyrian Christians in the early 20th century.

    • OfficialPro

      well yeah, because Islam comes first.

    • ziggy zoggy

      Or prosecuting a terrorism wave against Turkey that usually targeted school children.

  • ziggy zoggy

    Stupid Turks. Ataturk almost threw off the yoke of islam but now it’s back and stoking all the petty ethnic and racist bigotries that people are stuck with. There is no Afro-Turk crime or terrorism wave in Turkey so Erdogan’s bigotry is based on emotion instead of reason. As if his White Turks can claim a homogenous ethnic heritage, and Kurds are inferior to them based on their ethnicity. Got to give him credit for calling “Arabs” White n1ggers, though. No ethnic/linguistic group on the planet is more detestable than the Arabs. Which just goes to show how irrational his hatred for Blacks is.

  • janissary1453

    In Turkey, the term negro has nothing do with racism :)))
    In Turkey Negro is a defensive term not offensive
    In Turkey, 1990′s the term Negro was widely used by conservative parties relating to secular state discrimination against Erdoğan’s Party..after 2001 the AKP’s victory this term has been used to refer to socialists or liberal, secular rationalist(CHP Kılıçdaroğlu’s party, also Ataturk’s party)

    In turkish society, the term negro has nothing do with racism or insulting ethnic roots..It may be used to describe discrimination against poor, women, conservatives, atheist, homosexuel
    From top to bottom , a manipulative article over xenephobia and islamophobia

    “””White Turks and Black Turks “”” Wikipedia

    The Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described himself as a Black Turk before 2001 election victory..Now he is a white turk

    Also there is a third group of “Grey Turks”, who are urbanized, well-educated and enjoy western music and films, but are pious Muslims.