Recent statements uttered by Turkish politicians and media outlets suggesting that Jews were somehow responsible for the Soma mining disaster are “unwarranted and hurtful,” the Anti-Defamation League charged on Friday.
In a press release, the influential American Jewish group which is dedicated to rooting out anti-Semitism cited a May 20 front page headline in the pro-government Turkish daily Yeni Akit which criticized the owner of the Soma Coal Mine Company for having a Jewish son-in-law. According to the ADL, such suggestions serve to perpetuate conspiracy theories that harp on classic anti-Semitic themes of Jewish control behind the scenes.
The ADL said that a politician allied with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan posted a tweet criticizing “the foreign Jewish lobby” for using the mining disaster to criticize the premier. The organization blasted the Turkish media and politicians for using the term “foreigner” as code for Jews.
“The unwarranted and hurtful conspiracy theories in the Yeni Akit newspaper and by MP Burhun Kuzu, which falsely connects Jews to the Soma mine tragedy, have no place in Turkish discourse,” said ADL chief Abe Foxman. “We call on Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to publicly condemn the effort to link Jews with this tragedy.”
“Introducing these conspiracy theories disrespects the victims and their families and diverts attention away from the investigation process. It also sends a message to Turkey’s Jewish community which can raise questions about their place in Turkish society.”