Confession of a History of Anti-Semitism

2/24/2009 6:59:00 PM

To Editor of Greek News On-Line

The article by Zeyno Baran and Onur Sazak in the Weekly Standard should be properly read as a confession as it details the outburst of Anti-Semitism in Turkey over the past several years, although it is intended to mask the real face of Turkey. Anti-Semitism in fact has a history in Turkey as can be seen by Rifat N. Bali in his book, "The Varlik Vergisi Affair" which documents the hideous treatment of the Jewish, Greek, and Armenian communities in Turkey during the Second World War. Mr. Bali not only reproduces anti-Semitic illustrations and posters inside the book which resemble propaganda posters within the Third Reich, but reproduced additional evidence affirming the racist nature of the Kemalist State.

Among the documents reprinted by Mr. Bali is a letter sent to the State Department by the American Jewish Committee in 1947 which strongly protested the treatment not only of Jews, but mistreatment of Greeks and Armenians as well. The effort by Ms. Baran and Mr. Sazak to whitewash Turkey's record is bound to fail considering that the authoritarian and racist nature of the Kemalist State is being exposed.

The Republic of Turkey was founded over the corpses of Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Christians who were systematically slaughtered under the direction of Mustafa Kemal Pasha and his associates upon their "victory" in Asia Minor.

The present Turkish government is a State sponsor of terrorism, a fact that can be affirmed for official support given to groups such as the now defunct "Hizbullah", who were responsible for the slaughter of sixty three Kurds who were discovered in a mass grave in 2000. In addition, the Turkish security forces have supported the infamous Grey Wolves who in 1996 with the active support of then Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller slaughtered several Greek Cypriot demonstrators. Since 1993, there have been six attempts to assassinate his holiness Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. In July 2007, Turkish Army officers were arrested for conspiring to murder the Ecumenical Pariarch and the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Constantinople.

The Turkish treatment of non-Muslim and non-Turkish populations is appalling, and the American public is being done a disservice through the distortions and propaganda emanating from Turkish apologists over several decades. Anti-Semitism in Turkey is despicable and should be condemned by all decent people. In addition, the civilized world should also recognize the injustices that have been perpetrated against the Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Assyrian, and Kurdish populations in Turkey. Sanctions long ago should have been imposed on Turkey over the ethnic cleansing perpetrated against its Christian populations, and over the external aggression directed against the peaceful and democratic Republic of Cyprus.

Theodore G. Karakostas