August 25, 2011
The progressive dismantling of Turkey’s experiment in Westernization/ secularization — which began within a decade of Ataturk’s death — came to popular, if ugly, fruition with the election of the Necmettin Erbakan government in the early 1990s.
Erbakan was a full-throated, unapologetic promulgator of mainstream, “sacralized” Islamic Jew-hatred. The modern fundamentalist Islamic movement Erbakan founded (the Islamic Milli Gorus movement, which originated in 1969) has continued to produce the most extreme strain of Antisemitism extant in Turkey, and traditional Islamic motifs, i.e., frequent quotations from the Koran and Hadith, remain central to this hatred, nurtured by early Islam’s basic animus towards Judaism. For example, Milli Gazete published articles in February and April of 2005, which were toxic amalgams of ahistorical drivel and virulently anti-Semitic and anti-dhimmi Koranic motifs, including these prototypical comments based upon Koran 2:61/ 3:112:
In fact no amount of pages or lines would be sufficient to explain the Qur’anic chapters and our Lord Prophet’s [Muhammad’s] words that tell us of the betrayals of the Jews. … The prophets sent to them, such as Zachariah and Isaiah, were murdered by the Jews…
Erbakan mentored current AKP leaders President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan. Both were previously active members of Erbakan’s assorted fundamentalist political parties, serving in mayoral, ministerial, and parliamentary posts. The IHH — whose violent operatives featured prominently in the Mavi Marmara flotilla anti-Semitic incitement and subsequent bloodshed — has its origins in this same Orthodox Islamic Milli Görüş movement.
In 1974, Erdogan, while serving as president of the Istanbul Youth Group of his mentor, former Prime Minister Erbakan’s National Salvation Party, wrote, directed, and played the leading role in a theatrical play entitled Maskomya, staged throughout Turkey during the 1970s. Mas-Kom-Ya was a compound acronym for “Masons-Communists-Yahudi” – the latter meaning “Jews.” The play focused on the evil, conspiratorial nature of these three entities whose common denominator was Judaism.
Now, finally, we learn that Erdogan’s religiously-inspired Jew-hatred has not passed unnoticed by Gabby Levy, the Israeli ambassador to Turkey, whose term is scheduled to expire in a week. As recorded in a Wikileaks cable from October 2009, sent by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey:
Levy dismissed political calculation as a motivator for Erdogan’s hostility, arguing the prime minister’s party had not gained a single point in the polls from his bashing of Israel. Instead, Levy attributed Erdogan’s harshness to deep-seated emotion: “He’s a fundamentalist. He hates us religiously and his hatred is spreading.”