US condemns Erdogan ‘anti-Semitic’ remarks

The United States on Tuesday sharply criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for what it called “anti-Semitic” remarks amid his denunciations of Israel’s strikes in Gaza.


“The United States strongly condemns President Erdogan’s recent anti-Semitic comments regarding the Jewish people and finds them reprehensible,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.


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“We urge President Erdogan and other Turkish leaders to refrain from incendiary remarks, which could incite further violence,” he said.


Erdogan, whose political roots are in Islamism, has championed the Palestinian cause during his 18-year rule even though Turkey remains one of the few Muslim-majority nations with relations with Israel.


He has accused Israel of “terrorism” against the Palestinians and recently said, “It is in their nature.”


“They are murderers, to the point that they kill children who are five or six years old. They only are satisfied by sucking their blood,” he said.


Erdogan also lashed out at US President Joe Biden for his diplomatic support to Israel, saying the US leader has “bloody hands.”


The latest episodes are likely to sour further the relationship between Turkey and the United States, with Biden holding ace cards like the infamous Halkbank Iran sanctions violations trial and CAATSA sanctions.


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Biden took office vowing a harder line on Erdogan, whom he has described as an autocrat, and last month took the landmark step of recognizing the mass killings of Armenians by the waning Ottoman Empire in 1915-17 as genocide.


Biden and Erdogan nonetheless had agreed to hold a first meeting on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels next month.  While it is not certain, Biden could inform Erdogan at the summit meeting that unless Russian made S-400s are removed from Turkey, or placed under NATO supervision, the extant CAATSA sanctions will be tightened.


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.