Turkish President Erdogan slams Soros “the famous Hungarian Jew”

The comments are now stirring controversy among Turkish commentators on social media.

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November 21, 2018 17:36
1 minute read.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, October 23, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/TUMAY BERKIN)

 
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In comments at a meeting of Mukhtars at the Presidency’s resident, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused George Soros, who he termed “the famous Hungarian Jew,” of being behind historic protests in Turkey. The comments are now stirring controversy among Turkish commentators on social media.

In a speech at the 48th meeting of Mukhtars, or village headmen, in Ankara, the Turkish president slammed a jailed Turkish philanthropist named Osman Kavala, claiming that Kavala financed the 2013 Gezi park protests and was supported by George Soros. The speech and the term “Soros, the famous Hungarian Jew,” were widely reported at Turkish media site Yeni Safak, which supports the government. Soros has become a lightning rod of criticism recently, particularly on the right in Europe and the US with accusations that he funds left-leaning causes. Many see these attacks on Soros as a form of antisemitism, by accusing a powerful Jewish philanthropist of exercising global influence.



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Kavala has gained support since his arrest last year. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has sought to support his case. It was within this context that Erdogan spoke about the Kavala case. Online critics of the Turkish President and his AK Party have posted photos of Soros allegedly meeting with Turkish officials in Davos in 2003. On social media the term “Jew Soros” in Turkish, “yahudisi Soros” now has hundreds of mentions, some of them seeking to portray Soros as behind the protests. Video and quotes of Erdogan condemning “the famous Hungarian Jew Soros” are also widespread online.

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