The latest example of Turks visiting Nazi death camps and making Nazi salutes transpired at the infamous Auschwitz death camp.
Two tourists from Turkey took pictures of each other while they were making the Nazi salute in front of the front gate of Auschwitz, Poland, with its notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign above them. The Turkish man and woman, 22-year-old history students in Budapest, were arrested by the camp’s guards at the museum.
Police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka told the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper that the two people would likely be accused of public promotion of Nazi symbols. Such promotion is prohibited in Poland, and the two could face two years in prison.
In a similar case in October, two other Turkish students made Nazi signs and shouted “Heil Hitler” at the Majdanek Museum–in the face of Israeli students. The students are charged with promoting a fascist regime and insulting Jews.
Zaman, the Turkish news media outlet, quoted the Majdanek students declaring the whole thing a “joke.” One said, “All we wanted was to take a couple of pictures [posing while making the salute] as memories from the camp. We did not know it was a crime in Poland.”
The ruling Islamist AKP party in Turkey has made openly anti-semitic remarks, including Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who compared Jews to “Nazis” when he was mayor of Istanbul.