It was Turkey’s then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who likened Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Nazis and Hitler respectively during the recent fighting in Gaza. Yet, the climate of anti-semitism and hate that’s rising in Turkey far more closely resembles Nazi Germany.
In the 1930’s Jews were prevented from say, entering stores that didn’t want them in those stores. That exact same thing appears to be taking place in Turkey:
A shop in downtown Istanbul, Turkey, posted a sign on its window front announcing that “Jew dogs” are banned from entering, local Jewish newspaper Salom reported.
The discriminatory banner, which was spotted on Thursday, says, “The Jew dogs cannot come in here” and features an image of an Israeli tank.
The store, located in Tahtakale, an area where many Jewish businesses are situated, sells mobile phone accessories.
Though the verbiage in hate crimes laws in Turkey have been toughened, the rise of anti-Semitism continues. One of the reasons for this is that Erdogan doesn’t seem much interested in following them. Rather, he’s actually demonstrating an interest in the opposite, which sends a clear signal to Turkish Muslims:
It appears that Erdoğan’s government will easily disregard its own revisions to the penal code that defined hate crimes in Turkish law for the first time and provides for additional penalties for offenders. The amendment was made to Article 122 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) (also known as Law No. 5237, adopted in 2004). The bill was approved in Parliament on Feb. 2 as part of the democratization package announced by the government last September and signed into law by President Abdullah Gül on March 12. Instead of toning down his hateful discourse, Erdoğan has, in fact, ratcheted up his belligerent tone targeting and stigmatizing his opponents. For example, at election rallies, he attacked members of Hizmet by calling them deplorable names such as “assassins,” “traitors,” “viruses,” “evil” and “mafia.” Others, too, received their fair share of bashing from Erdoğan, including Gezi Park protesters and critical media.
Of course, when the leader of a nation expresses these views, many like-minded Turks can see it as a green light for doing the same. A certain Istanbul store owner is doing his part as well.