Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay has been quoted in a video blaming the
“Jewish diaspora” and the foreign media for the recent protests against
Turkey’s Islamist government.
“There are some circles that are jealous
of Turkey’s growth. They are all uniting, on one side the Jewish diaspora. You
saw the foreign media’s attitude during the Gezi Park incidents; they bought it
and started broadcasting immediately, without doing an evaluation of the
[situation],” Atalay was quoted as saying in a video on July 1, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported.
In a later statement, Atalay’s press
office denied the minister had made such a statement.
Reacting to the reported remarks,
Turkey’s Jewish community, which numbers around 23,000, expressed fear that it could
be targeted as a result of Ataly’s comments.
“We would like to express our concern
that all Jews around the world, including Turkish Jews, may become the target
because of this sort of generalization in almost every situation,” the Turkish
Jewish community statement read.