Turkey’s Erdogan calls protester of mine disaster response ‘Israeli semen’

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) While visiting the site of the recent mine collapse in which more than 280 people died, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called a protester of his government's response to the disaster "Israeli semen."

Video footage posted online reveals that when he was accosted by a group of people calling him a "murderer" and “thief," Erdogan slapped one of the protesters and yelled, "Why are you running away? You Israeli semen."

Erdogan’s anti-Israel remark comes as Turkey and Israel are negotiating possible Israeli compensation for the Turkish victims of the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident. A compensation deal would presumably restore diplomatic relations between the two countries for the time time since the flotilla incident.

"With the completion of this stage, we may move toward a process of normalization. I have spoken with my colleagues in the [Turkish] Foreign Ministry and I think it is a matter of weeks," Erdogan recently old Charlie Rose of PBS.

Erdogan's "Israeli semen" comment is not his first instance of anti-Israel or anti-Jewish rhetoric. In 2013, he blamed popular protests against his government on the "interest-rate lobby," which was understood as a reference to a Jewish conspiracy. In 1998, while he was mayor of Istanbul, he said the "image of the Jews is no different than that of the Nazis." He has also blamed Israel for the ousting former Islamist Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Posted on May 16, 2014 .