It doesn’t help matters that Obama deems him as one of his key ME partners in the region.
Turkey’s Pariah Sultan?
Jerusalem —Yesterday, Katherine Connell covered in this space the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackpot statements blaming Israel and the French Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy for the military coup in Egypt.
The decline of Erdogan’s brand of political Islamism mixed with electoral democracy is hardly surprising. He showed pure contempt for democratic protests in Turkey, terming the demonstrators’ demands for less Islamism a result of an external “Interest-rate lobby”— a classic anti-Jewish trope.
The anti-Erdogan protests prompted The Economist to headline its June story on Erdogan: “Democrat or Sultan?”
However, his hardcore anti-democratic credentials were largely ignored by the Obama administration and the EU before the June protests. According to a report issued last year by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Erdogan’s government “imprisoned more journalists than China and Iran combined.” Turkey is the world champion in gutting press freedoms.
Erdogan’s pathological obsession with Jews and Israel has marked nearly half of his term in office since 2003. A telling recent example from February: He called Zionism — the founding political philosophy of the Jewish state — “a crime against humanity.”
A prime minister animated by anti-Semitic thinking and statements, to put it mildly, does not lend himself to a democratic governing structure.
NOTE: Nor does it help that Erdogan’s fellow countryman, and head of the OIC, denies that any Muslim could in fact ever be antisemitic.