Turkey tops Iran in anti-Semitism league: CHP lawmaker

Turkey tops Iran in anti-Semitism league: CHP lawmaker

Turkey tops Iran in anti-Semitism league: CHP lawmaker

CHP Bursa deputy Aykan Erdemir is worried that anti-Semitism is rising in Turkey. AA Photo

Studies conducted by international organizations indicate that there has been a rise in anti-Semitism in Turkish public opinion, an opposition lawmaker has said, arguing that Turkey has even surpassed Iran in the category.

“Our Jewish citizens are unfortunately entering the New Year in an environment where anti-Semitism, discrimination, hate crimes and hate speeches are on the rise,” Aykan Erdemir, a Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy for Bursa, told reporters at a press conference on Sept. 25, as he marked Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

“A study carried out by the Anti-Defamation League [ADL] in 102 countries and with the participation of 53,100 persons revealed that Turkey ranks 17th in an index of countries harboring anti-Semitic attitudes,” Erdemir said.

The study shows that 69 percent of Turkish people harbored anti-Semitic attitudes, much higher than the global average of 26 percent, Erdemir said. “The fact that Turkey’s average is higher than Iran, 56 percent of whose population has anti-Semitic attitudes, is a warning,” he added.

Another study conducted by Gonzo Insight indicates that anti-Semitic attitudes are gaining more popular support through social media. On July 18 alone, there were 30,926 tweets sent by 27,309 users featuring anti-Semitic content in defense of the Holocaust, he said.

“There is a rise in anti-Semitism in a country where the state and the government remain indifferent and insensitive toward anti-Semitic hate crimes,” Erdemir said, adding that despite this environment, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan still argues that there is "no anti-Semitism in Turkey."

Submitting parliamentary questions on the state of Jewish citizens in Turkey and measures to be taken against anti-Semitism, Erdemir called on Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his government “to take necessary precautions against rising anti-Semitic hate.”