Turkish Anti-Israel Protests Grow Violent, Threats Made to Jewish Community

Turkish Anti-Israel Protests Grow Violent, Threats Made to Jewish Community

Demonstrators pelted the Israeli consulate in Istanbul with stones on Thursday in protest of Israel’s ground offensive on Gaza, Israeli news site Ynet reported.

The protesters chanted, “Murderer Israel, get out of Palestine,” and smashed consulate windows with sticks and rocks. Graffiti reading “Die out murderer Jew” was scrawled on the wall across from the consulate. Turkish riot police dispersed the protesters with tear gas.

In the capital Ankara, protesters also threw rocks and raised Palestinian flags outside the Israeli embassy, where police did not intervene. Windows of the building were broken by demonstrators.

Turkish press and officials have stoked the protests. Turkey’s foreign minister has “vehemently” condemned Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza. Using his Twitter account, Ahmet Davutoglu said the ground operation is testing “the conscience of humanity.”

Davutoglu called for emergency meetings of the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Bulent Yildirim, the head of the IHH, the NGO behind the infamous Mavi Marmara flotilla, told local media station Haber Turk that “Turkish Jews will pay dearly” for Israel’s actions. 

“Israel is acting like a spoiled child,” Yildirim said. “Jewish tourists, don’t dare come to Turkey. Tonight and tomorrow we are going to hold a different kind of protest, we do not have patience anymore.

“The Zionists are putting the future of the Jews in danger, we cannot hold back our youngsters anymore,” he said.

On Wednesday, a Turkish daily affiliated with Prime Minister Erdogan called on the country’s Jews to apologize for the Palestinian casualties of the Israeli operation in Gaza.

“You came here after being banished from Spain [in 1492],” Yeni Akit correspondent Faruk Köse wrote Wednesday in an open letter to the chief rabbi of Turkey’s Jewish community. “You have lived comfortably among us for 500 years and gotten rich at our expense. Is this your gratitude – killing Muslims? Erdogan, demand that the community leader apologize!” 

In the right-wing newspaper’s editorial, Ali Karahasanoglu wrote: “The IDF is using forbidden weapons, intentionally killing children and murdering Muslims for the sake of murdering Muslims. Hamas is unprepared to accept dictations from Israel and the US, and will only lay down its weapon after its understandings are accepted.”

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