Skip to main content

Erdogan plays to base by slighting Armenians

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's history of anti-Semitic remarks and a recent insult directed at Armenians are a tactic to draw votes.
Turkey's Prime Minister and presidential candidate Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during an election rally in Istanbul August 3, 2014. Cheers erupted from the packed stands when Erdogan scored his third goal in a celebrity soccer match to mark the opening of an Istanbul stadium. His orange jersey bore the number 12, a reminder of Erdogan's ambition to become the nation's 12th president in Turkey's first popular vote for its head of state, on Aug. 10. After dominating Turkish politics for more than

Steven Cook, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations with a reputation for expertise on Turkey and Egypt, wrote an article for Politico Aug. 5 headlined, “What a Turkey! Has the Turkish leader lost his head?” The article discussed the alleged anti-Semitism of the Turkish prime minister, currently running for the presidency.

Cook’s article begins, “If Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan were an American politician, he would be an excellent candidate for one of Chris Cillizza’s 'Worst Week in Washington' features. First, on Friday, July 19, a day after the State Department spokesperson criticized him for his frequent invocation of the Nazis to describe Israel’s behavior, Erdogan asked, 'What do Americans know about Hitler?' Given that almost 200,000 young Americans died fighting in Europe during WWII, quite a lot, actually.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.