Center for American Progress

Prime Minister Erdogan’s Comments on Zionism Have the Potential to Justify Violence
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Prime Minister Erdogan’s Comments on Zionism Have the Potential to Justify Violence

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan's recent comments on Zionism are isolating, deeply offensive, and potentially dangerous.

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Speaking recently at the 5th Global Forum of the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan grouped Zionism in with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Islamophobia as “crimes against humanity.” While Prime Minister Erdogan’s outrageous comments seem intended to isolate Israel, they also threaten to further isolate Turkey at a time when the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, should be seeking to build new partnerships to replace its failed “zero problems with neighbors” strategy.

Prime Minister Erdogan’s comments, delivered in front of a global audience, seemed like an attitude from a bygone era. Casting Zionism together with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Islamophobia in this way is not only deeply offensive but also quite historically inaccurate and has the potential to promote or justify violence.

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