Turkey PM under fire for Zionism remarks

2013-03-01 13:36
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Picture: AFP)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ankara - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday came under withering criticism from Israel, Washington and the UN for comments branding Zionism a "crime against humanity”.

The storm surrounding the comments is likely to dominate Friday's visit to Ankara by the new US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is due to hold talks there on the Syrian crisis.

Erdogan has often attacked Israeli policies in blistering language over the past several years, sending relations between the once close allies into a free-fall.

On Wednesday, he told a forum organised by the UN in Vienna that: "As is the case for Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it is inevitable that Islamophobia be considered a crime against humanity."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu branded the comments as "a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world”.

Israel's main ally Washington said the "characterisation of Zionism as a crime against humanity... is offensive and wrong”.

"We encourage people of all faiths, cultures, and ideas to denounce hateful actions and to overcome the differences of our times," said National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor.

A spokesperson for UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who was present when Erdogan made the inflamatory remarks at the Fifth Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilisations, also condemned the statements.

"The secretary-general believes is it is unfortunate that such hurtful and divisive comments were uttered at a meeting being held under the theme of responsible leadership," Ban's office said in a statement.

"The secretary-general heard the prime minister’s speech through an interpreter," it said.

"If the comment about Zionism was interpreted correctly, then it was not only wrong but contradicts the very principles on which the Alliance of Civilisations is based.

Read more on:    un  |  recep tayyip erdogan  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  ban ki-moon  |  israel  |  us  |  turkey

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.