Antisemitism has spread across Turkey in the last year, Uzay Bulut, a political analyst, said in an article for the Jewish News Syndicate this week.
Bulut cited a survey by Alvemeroz, a Turkish news website, outlining anti-Jewish statements and articles by top Turkish news organisations and officials, including the country’s president, during 2020.
The incendiary comments included statements such as “the Holocaust story is exaggerated”, “Israel does not get enough of blood and wealth”, “Jews kidnapped Christian children and performed rituals with their blood”, and “Jews sent the coronavirus to Turkey to exterminate Turks”, Bulut said.
Many segments of Turkish society blindly follow antisemitic propaganda spreading throughout Turkey, Bulut said.
During a speech in January last year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan labelled Israel as “pirate, cruel and insatiable”, and condemned people who supported Jews, referring to them as “those with a kippah on”, she said.
Turkish company Tshirthane began selling Nazi-themed t-shirts on the internet in March last year, before withdrawing them from sale and apologising, Bulut said.
Pro-government newspaper Yeni Akit described Jews who lived in Ottoman Turkey as “murderers and perverts”, she said. Gerçek Hayat, a pro-government magazine, published a special edition in May claiming that some leading Jewish public figures in Turkey, including Turkey’s Chief Rabbi Isak Haleva, helped orchestrate a failed military coup in 2016.
Hitler’s Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was on sale at a bookstore in Istanbul in October, without any warnings about Nazi propaganda on its cover, Bulut said.