Could I be thinking that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is always wrong? Certainly not. His Jan. 22 speech at his party’s parliamentary group meeting was the absolute truth.
• “These bloodsuckers … these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs…” (2010) - Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, before he was elected, in reference to Jews and Zionists, while urging his listeners “to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for Jews and Zionists.” Recently, Mr. Morsi’s spokesman, Yasser Ali, “corrected” that “these comments were meant as criticism, not as an insult to Jews.”
• “I went there and saw it myself. There were no genocides or massacres in Darfur. Muslims don’t commit genocide.” (2009) - Prime Minister Erdoğan.
• “You [Jews] know well how to kill.” (2009) - Prime Minister Erdoğan in his famous Davos tirade against Israeli President Shimon Peres.
• “You [Jews] know well how to kill children.” (2012) – Prime Minister Erdoğan in a speech in Cairo.
• “Muslims don’t resort to terror. There is no Islamic terror.” (Various dates) - Prime Minister Erdoğan.
• “My ancestors did not commit genocide.” (2009) - Prime Minister Erdoğan (this time the prime minister did not say that he, born in 1954, was “there” in 1915 and saw that there was no genocide).
• “27 percent of Europeans are illegitimate [children].” (2005) - Mr. Erdoğan’s Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül, in reference to statistics that 27 percent of European babies are born out of wedlock.
• “I don’t know whose sons the Europeans are.” (2004) - Mr. Erdoğan’s Foreign Trade Minister Kürşat Tüzmen, in reply to French President Jacques Chirac’s statement that “both the Turks and Europeans are the children of Byzantium.”
• “I hope one day the Japanese, too, will convert to the Religion of God [Islam].” (2003) - Parliament Speaker Bülent Arınç, in a speech in Japan. • “One way to resolve the [Kurdish] terror problem could be if the Turkish men took brides from the southeast [Kurdish brides] as second wives.” (2010) - Halil Bakırcı, Mr. Erdoğan’s party’s mayor for the Black Sea province of Rize.
• “Our national currency was once even less valuable than those of cannibals.” (2011) - Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, in reference to the once unstable Turkish Lira and to the exchange rate when it was traded against the currencies of African states.
• “We are the grandchildren of the Seljuks, of the Ottomans…” (2012) - Prime Minister Erdoğan, explaining why Turkey chose a high-profile policy on the Syrian civil war.
• “In Turkish history, there has never been the occupation of lands or the destroying of cities … There has always been conquest … the conquest of the heart.” (2012) – Prof. Mehmet Görmez, President of the Religious Affairs Directorate (an entity that has an annual budget larger than the annual budgets of 11 ministries combined).
• “They [his opponents] even called us Jews, Armenians and, pardon the word, Greeks…” (2011) - Prime Minister Erdoğan in a television interview.
• “I don’t understand why you impose an import tax on Muslim chickens.” (2011) - Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan to his Egyptian hosts during a state visit to Egypt. Mr. Çağlayan was complaining of a 30 percent Egyptian import tax on Turkish poultry while there was no tax on European poultry.
• “Turks cannot live without Arabs.” (2010) - Prime Minister Erdoğan. He did not say if the Turks could live without other races.
• “The bloods of those who oppose us [AKP] should be examined. They have bad lineage … Traitors.” (2010) - Ahmet Aydoğmuş, MP of Mr. Erdoğan’s party, angry at the opposition.
• “I met him, although I knew he was an Alevi.” (2012) - Melih Gökçek, Ankara mayor for Mr. Erdoğan’s party, in reference to a meeting he had with an Alevi opposition politician.
• “Racism is arrogance. It began with satanic arrogance. It is satanic to praise one’s own race, clan, tribe and to humiliate the others (who, too, are created by God).” (Jan. 22, 2013) - Prime Minister Erdoğan, speaking to his party’s parliamentary group meeting.