Arab World Finally Exposes Erdogan’s Hypocrisy as ‘Defender’ of Palestinians

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaking at a meeting with the Justice and Development (AK) Party’s provincial heads. (Photo: Presidency of the Republic of Turkey)

I have written in the past pointing out Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hypocrisy in proclaiming himself as the ‘defender’ of Palestinians, while maintaining a military, diplomatic and economic alliance with Israel.

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem who is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute, published a lengthy article on August 25, 2020 on Gatestone Institute’s website, titled: “Arabs and Muslims to Turkey’s Erdogan: ‘Why Don’t You Protest Against Yourself?’”

Erdogan inherited from Ottoman Sultans the skill of walking a diplomatic tightrope. For centuries, the Ottoman Empire perfected the political art of seeming to be on both sides of conflicting powers. The Sultans sided with France and England against Germany and with Germany against France and England. The same policy is being pursued now by Erdogan, appearing to be on the Palestinian side, while maintaining multi-faceted relations with Israel. Similarly, Turkey is a NATO member while purchasing advanced missiles from Russia, which violates NATO policies. Amazingly, Erdogan is simultaneously the good friend of both Trump and Putin!

This contradictory and dishonest Turkish behavior finally was exposed in the Arab and Islamic world on the occasion of Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE) normalizing their relations. Erdogan threatened UAE on August 14, 2020, to cut off diplomatic relations and recall Turkey’s Ambassador from the UAE, while Turkey itself maintains normal relations with Israel where it has an Embassy, and Israel has an Embassy in Ankara!

Many Arabs are now reminding Erdogan that “Turkey was the first Muslim-majority country to recognize the State of Israel. They also remind him of his official visit to Israel in 2005 and the decades of military, strategic and diplomatic cooperation between Turkey and Israel,” Abu Toameh wrote.

Here are several statements that Abu Toameh quoted from Arab and Muslim sources exposing Erdogan’s hypocritical position.

Erdogan is “the official sponsor of terrorist groups in the region. He uses these groups to destabilize the Arab countries, including Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Egypt…. It seems that Erdogan is suffering from schizophrenia that surprises and confuses even his supporters,” wrote Egyptian journalist Adel al-Sanhoury on August 21, 2020.

Jordanian writer Noura al-Moteari asked: “Does Erdogan have a mental illness and a dual personality, or does he know for sure that his followers from the oppressed Turkish people and the Muslim Brotherhood follow him with blind loyalty and do not see beyond the end of their noses? How does Erdogan threaten to withdraw his ambassador from Abu Dhabi because of the historic peace agreement with Israel, while the Israeli embassy in Turkey is active?”

Saudi political activist Monther al-Sheikh Mubarak wrote: “I am sure Erdogan needs a psychiatrist. It has been reported that Turkey will serve Israel by transporting Israelis to the UAE at a time when Erdogan is objecting to normalization [with Israel]. There is no cure for stupidity.”

Saudi political activist Abdullah al-Bander said in a video he posted on social media that Erdogan is known for his words more than his actions. “What’s funny is that Erdogan was also the first Muslim leader to visit the grave of [Zionism founder Theodor] Herzl in Israel and meet with [then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon. Erdogan is trading in the Palestinian cause. Turkey has had relations with Israel for more than 70 years, but it has done nothing good for the Palestinians all these years.”

Saudi writer Rawaf al-Soain also posted a video on social media platforms in which he asked: “Why don’t you [Erdogan] withdraw your ambassador from Tel Aviv and expel the Israeli ambassador in Turkey so that we can call you a hero and supporter of the Palestinian cause? By accusing the United Arab Emirates, Erdogan is being silly and despicable.”

The Saudi newspaper Okaz wrote in an editorial: “Erdogan’s regime does not miss an opportunity to trade in the Palestinian issue and deceive everyone. Despite Erdogan’s hypocrisy, which has become exposed to Arab and Islamic public opinion, his regime continues to play on the feelings of Muslims. The Turkish president appears to be applying double standards by ignoring the presence of his ambassador in Tel Aviv.”

Abu Toameh concluded: “The strong reactions of many Arabs to Erdogan’s threat is a sign that they understand that he is a conniving opportunist playing the Arab and Muslim card in an attempt to revive an Islamic caliphate under his rule. Judging from the broader Arab response to Erdogan’s threat, the Turkish leader, rather than being perceived as any kind of Caliph, is perceived as a demented demagogue and a sponsor of terrorism.”

In addition, Turkish journalist Burak Bekdil provided the historical background of Turkey’s double-faced approach to diplomacy in an article published by the BESA Center on August 27, 2020.

Bekdil wrote: “Turkey remained neutral during the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. At its conclusion, the then young Turkish republic became the first Muslim country to recognize the infant state of Israel on March 28, 1949. In January 1950, Ankara sent a career diplomat, Seyfullah Esin, to Tel Aviv as the first Turkish chargé d’affaires in Israel. In 1951, Turkey joined the Western bloc of countries that protested Cairo’s decision to deny Israeli ships passage through the Suez Canal. The Mossad [Israel’s Intelligence Agency] opened a station on Turkish soil in the early 1950s. In 1954, Turkish PM Adnan Menderes, while on a visit to the US, called on Arab states to recognize Israel.”

Probably worse than Turkish hypocrisy is the gullibility of Western and Arab nations that have been fooled by Turkish deceits to think that Turkey is their friend and ally.

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Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh $917 million of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

3 Comments

  1. Excellent column on an important topic. For too long the Arab nations have bought his rhetoric. He is
    a Turkish Islamic opportunist. Some Arabs have looked at the Islamic side but many are realizing that the
    Turkish component always leads. He views the Arabs as Ottoman subjects and takes advantage of their
    disunity. His criminal adventures that violate the sovereignty of several Arab nations should be enough to
    convince even the naive.

    • I agree with you and with the above informative article , Erdogan, , other Turkic leaders and Israel have been using , as you said , The Turkish component above the muslim faith , and the Arab disunity to their advantage throughout history, that also includes the Great Britain.

  2. Why would a Turkish leader (such as Erdogan) care about the horrifying atrocities that the Palestinian people have been subjected to since 1948? Why would he care that the Palestinian homeland was stolen away by European Zionists? Actually, it makes perfect sense for Erdogan (who persistently violates people’s human rights) to maintain an alliance with the illegitimate, genocidal, terrorist state of Israel, who, up to only a little while ago, had been vigorously assisting Turkey for many years in its endless, brutal campaign of Armenian Genocide denialism. Moreover, Israel has been the biggest supplier of military weapons (highly sophisticated military weapons) to Turkey’s little brother, Azerbaijan, which are being used to launch terrorist attacks against Armenian villages (by the border) as well as being used to kill Armenian soldiers.

    Erdogan, proclaiming himself as the defender of the Palestinian people, is just as absurd as Israel’s Zionist leader, Netanyahu, proclaiming himself as the defender of the American people.

    In terms of defending the extremely beleaguered Palestinian people, its biggest defender has been Alison Weir, who is the founder of ifamericansknew.org, which is affiliated with israelpalestinenews.org. For those of you interested in the true facts of Palestine and what’s been happening over there (as opposed to the horribly false news stories that are constantly being spewed in the Zionist-controlled, American news media) check out those two websites.

    And, here’s an article on Alison Weir, the courageous, heroic defender of the Palestinians: israelpalestinenews.org/alison-weir-advocating-for-palestine-18-years-and-counting/

    “Eighteen years ago this month, Alison Weir returned from her eye-opening, independent trip to Palestine. Many feel that she may be the Palestinians’ most enduring and relentless advocate.”

    “Her tireless work includes meticulous media analysis, writing, speaking, and educating Americans (and justice-lovers around the world) about the little-known facts of the Nakba (“Catastrophe”), the oppression that Israel has been perpetrating on Palestinians for over seventy years and how the United States, pressured by the Israel lobby, is complicit.”

    Before March, 2001, “Alison didn’t know much about the Israel/Palestine issue, but she did notice that the news coverage on the topic seemed to speak from only one perspective-that of Israel. She sensed that there was more to the story, and so she spent a month in the region as a freelance journalist.”

    “From Alison Weir’s first days in the West Bank and Gaza, she was moved by the people who were living courageously-as if they had any choice in the matter-in bullet riddled houses, under curfew, missing an eye or a leg or a family member.”

    “She was especially touched by the children. She visited children in hospitals who were dying, who would never walk again, never see their mothers’ faces again-and she promised those mothers that she would do everything she could to make the shooting and bombing stop. ‘It is time to stop killing sparrows,’ she asserted.”

    “The killing could only stop when Americans knew. So she founded If Americans Knew. Ever since, she has been courageously telling the truth about Israeli atrocities and American complicity.”

    “Alison Weir scrutinizes the past in her best-selling book, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, and acquaints us with the Palestinian Nakba (“Catastrophe”) story that accompanied the birth of Israel in 1948.”

    “She tirelessly tracks the news that comes out of Israel/Palestine-as well as the news that doesn’t come out. Mainstream media’s suppression of the Palestinian perspective is a fifty-year trend that the If Americans Knew website and more recently the blog challenge every day. Other alternative news sources now work alongside IAK to reach a growing audience.”

    “As Alison (with help from a small team) presents news and information, analysis and commentary, she is not just reporting on current events-she is activating current events.”

    “When Congress is poised to pass a bill or spend an obscene amount of money on Israel, If Americans Knew readers (and other like-minded organizations) are mobilized to write or call their legislators-and they move the needle.”

    “With all the millions that AIPAC and other pro-Israel organizations spend trying to hide the facts and downplay the truth, If Americans Knew and a host of other organizations on a shoestring budget have made a difference.”

    “Those who resent Alison’s truth-telling have tried to silence her; but the smear campaigns, intimidation, death threats, and character assassination have only made her more determined.”

    “Thanks in part to her efforts, we are witnessing a shift: Zionism is being challenged, BDS is gaining ground, the Israel lobby is exposed, and Israel’s racist politics are being held up to public scrutiny.”

    “Allison fully expects Israel partisans to continually try to stifle such efforts-by means of legislation, intimidation, and suppression-but she is confident that these attempts will ultimately fail.”

    “Her optimism grows out of her belief in the power of the truth to move good people.”

    “Allison trusts that when Americans know the facts, they will demand an end to our funding of Israel. When the flow of money stops, the power dynamic will shift dramatically, making room for real justice and longtime peace. In her words, ‘despite the billions of dollars against us, I believe that all of us who are determined to bring peace and justice will eventually succeed. But it will take extremely hard, effective, continual work and perseverance from many, many people. I plan to continue.'”

    “The task at hand-peace with justice for the Palestinian people-is big, and it is difficult. It is not a job for one journalist or a single organization. Alison Weir calls us all to join:

    It is time to stop saying , ‘They came for the Palestinians… and I did nothing.’ It is time to begin acting in a way that will allow us to say, ‘They came for the Palestinians… and I stopped them.'”

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