Turkey was once a strong ally of Israel’s. Today Turkey is an enemy. One can not listen to how these Turkish politicians speak and understand otherwise. Turkey has chosen the wrong side.
Rally in Turkey
Turkey held a huge anti-Israel rally in response to the Gaza violence. Instead of calling for an end to the violence from Hamas and their use of women and children as human shields that have led to the Gaza deaths, Turkish leaders call for the destruction of Israel. The first Turkish politician in the video said straight out “We will destroy Israel.” The second Turkish speaker is the Turkish Prime Minister. He tells all assembled that Israel is worse than Hitler and that Israel is committing genocide and ethnic cleansing of “palestinian” Arabs.
The final speaker is Turkish President Erdogan. His whole speech is filled with lies poisoning the once close relationship between Turkey and Israel. Erdogan’s biggest lie is about Jerusalem. He said that under Turkish Ottoman rule, Jerusalem was a place of respect and tranquility for all religions. Yet, today, under Israeli rule there is no respect for the holy sites of Islam and Christianity in Jerusalem since they are under “threat of Israel.”
The truth is very different. While there was religious freedom under Ottoman rule, non-Muslims were discriminated against. For instance, the Ottomans had a complete ban against non-Muslims visiting the Temple Mount, even though it was the holiest site to Jews and holy to Christians as well.
Under Israeli rule all religions have free access to their holy sites in Jerusalem. There is no “threat”, as Erdogan claimed.
Israel’s Response to Turkey
Israel has not remained silent to the incitement and lies uttered by Turkish President Erdogan and others. Recently the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that “Those who systematically violate human rights in their own country (Turkey against Kurds) should not preach to the only true democracy in the region.” “Israel consistently protects total freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians, and will continue to do so despite the baseless slander launched against it.”
Israeli President Rivlin also said recently “We heard statements (from Turkey) attacking Israel for establishing Jewish life in Jerusalem,” Rivlin said. “I will remind those who say this that, for the past 150 years, there has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Even under the Ottoman Empire, there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Under Jewish rule, we continue to build and establish Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. We will continue to guarantee religious freedom to all religions and believers.”
Erdogan also lied by saying that “when the riots in Gaza began, Israeli PM Netanyahu was afraid that the whole Muslim world would attack Jerusalem from all four directions. He couldn’t sleep a wink out of fear. When he saw that the Arab world did not attack he knew he could do as he wished”. Never did Netanyahu ever say such a thing, but this is how Erdogan incites the Turkish people against Israel.
He ended by saying that “until Israel stops, our fight will continue.”
Even though Israel does not have a fight with Turkey, Turkey’s political leaders think that they have a fight with us – a religious fight.
Turkey from Friend to Foe
When Turkey was run by the secular Turks, Israel was one of Turkey’s biggest allies in the region. Israel was a huge supplier of arms and military training to Turkish forces. We had the same enemies in the region and the alliance helped both countries. That all changed when Erdogan and his Muslim Brotherhood associated party took over Turkey. At that point, the religious conflict that Islam has with the Jews reversed the once solid and reliable Israel-Turkey alliance.
This has been a sad development for Israel, peaceful loving Turks and the whole region.