Turkish Deputy PM: Foreigners, Jews Behind Protests

Issues Partial Retraction Saying He Didn't Mean to Offend

Turkey’s major Cihan News Agency has quoted Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay as blaming “world powers and the Jewish Diaspora” for provoking massive anti-Erdogan protests in Turkey, going on to say that the international media is also involved in “the conspiracy.”

The statement apparently came at a Monday rally in Kinkkale Province, and was followed by a statement from a Turkish Jewish organization expressing concern that the comments could lead to reprisals against the nation’s Jewish minority.

Atalay’s office has since issued a statement on the matter, part retraction and part denial, saying that in the speech nothing he said was intended to “offend Jewish citizens of Turkey or Jewish communities around the world.”

The Erdogan government has repeatedly sought to shift the blame for anti-government protests around to different targets, though it has regularly claimed a grand conspiracy against the “way of Great Turkey” in speeches as orchestrating the whole matter.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.