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AMERICAS > US senators, Congress members call on Turkish PM to retract Zionism comment

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AA photo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AA photo

The U.S. Congress members and senators penned a letter directed at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling on him to retract his remarks that defined Zionism as a “crime against humanity.”

The letter, written by congressmen Steve Israel, Senator Mark Kirk, Doug Lamborn and Senator Bill Nelson, was sent to all other Congress members, inviting them to join in “sending a bipartisan, bicameral letter” to Erdoğan to express “grave disappointment” in his words. Eighty-nine members of the Congress ended up signing the letter.

While acknowledging the global danger of extremism, the letter says that Erdoğan’s comment “apprehends and disparages a noble historical enterprise,” Zionism, which is defined by the Congress members as “a non-discriminatory affirmation of Jewish nationhood.”

The letter highlights the “strong and mutually advantageous” relationship between Israel and Turkey despite recent disagreements and criticizes the recent change of tone toward Israel in Erdoğan’s government.

“We greatly regret the harsh tone adopted by you and senior Turkish officials toward Israel in the recent past,” the letter reads, describing Erdoğan’s remark as “appalling.”

The letter ends with members of the U.S. Congress calling on Erdoğan to restore the relationship between the nations and retract his comment.

Erdoğan called Zionism a “crime against humanity” last week in a United Nations conference in Vienna, saying, “just as with Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it has become necessary to view Islamophobia as a crime against humanity.”

March/14/2013

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Murat

3/15/2013 7:16:30 PM

Congress does not always mean Senate in USA.

mara mcglothin

3/15/2013 3:38:30 PM

FYI BOB Usually when speaking of "Congress" in the USA that only means the Senate and there are two senators per state. You do the math.

mara mcglothin

3/15/2013 3:37:20 PM

CEZER Politicians the World over are corrupt or at best corruptable. The entire World is sorely lacking in Statesmen, and Turkey is no exception to the rule. Very sad for us all that there aren't enough people who put their country and the World before their own petty gains.

Arnold Yesovitch

3/14/2013 7:29:58 PM

Al Rashid- Zionism is the belief in the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel. What has caused you and others to see it as a "crime against humaity" is solely because your Arab and or muslim buddies have continuously attacked Israel since its renaissance. Try an experiment and put a a dog or cat in a corner and taunt it. Eventually the animal will growl, snarll , and attack back. That is what your arab / islamic friends have been up to since and before 1947.

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

3/14/2013 7:11:52 PM

US politicians are very corrupt. It is better not to pay any attention to what they are saying.

Bob Szagun

3/14/2013 6:51:27 PM

Quote "Eighty-nine members of the Congress ended up signing the letter." So the other 446 members of Congress either did not care or agreed with every word Prime Miniter Erdogan had said.

Suhail Shafi

3/14/2013 5:35:19 PM

Erdogan should throw their letter in the bin and apologize to Israel only after it apologizes for the Mavi Marmara incident and pays compensation to the victims as well as lift the siege of Gaza, end its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and respect UN resolutions and international law.

Ayazid

3/14/2013 4:54:59 PM

@mara, you are totally right that many in USA are fed up with the unquestioning US support for Israel and would love to see change to this, but the political elite of your country has apparently a different opinion, and the ridiculous filibuster against Chuck Hagel just because of his sincerity concerning Israel and its lobby in America, was another proof of this. The indignation which this and the Zionist anti-campaign against him provoked suggests that this is hopefully gonna change.

Murat

3/14/2013 3:07:12 PM

Where the heck were they when Israel butchered nine unarmed civilians on Mavi Marmara, including a US citizen? Where was their outrage then? Shame on these Israeli agents posing as American politicians. What a shame for this great country. Who can in this day and age claim Zionism is not same as Fascism?

mara mcglothin

3/14/2013 3:04:33 PM

OSMAN The USA has comdemned the actions of Israel on many occasions. I guess you are not able to read such things in the papers you choose. Many in America are not for the settlements and the "Zionists" actions of some Jews any more than we support the outright Islamic actions of others. I read one comment about the last name of one senator, but what about Kirk? Can you guess what that was shortened from?
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