Turkish President Erdogan Floats Conspiracy Theories About Charlie Hebdo Attack

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, March 22, 2011. Erdogan said that he has concerns about possible NATO military action in Libya, but he has not flatly opposed such a mission. "Turkey will not point arms at the Libyan people," he …
AP/Burhan Ozbilici

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to accuse the French government of either allowing or deliberately engineering the Charlie Hebdo massacre as a means to discredit Islam in new remarks, in which he asserts that Muslims “have never taken part in terrorist massacres.”

According to the UK Daily Mail, Erdogan asserted in remarks this week that Western governments are “playing games with the Islamic world.” Of the Charlie Hebdo attack, he states: “French citizens carry out such a massacre, and Muslims pay the price. That’s very meaningful … Doesn’t their intelligence organisation track those who leave prison?”

Erdogan added: “The West’s hypocrisy is obvious. As Muslims, we’ve never taken part in terrorist massacres. Behind these lie racism, hatespeech and Islamophobia.”

This assertion is compatible with the Obama Administration’s “No True Muslim” rhetoric, which holds that the perpetrators of atrocities in the name of Islam forfeit their identity as Muslims. Asked why the White House refuses to describe the Charlie Hebdo killers as radical Islamists, spokesman Josh Earnest replied, “We have chosen not to use that label, because it doesn’t seem to accurately describe what happened.”

Erdogan has already tried linking the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, railing that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no place at the Paris unity rally because he “carried out state terrorism by massacring 2,500 people in Gaza.” Mr. Erdogan forgot to mention the swarms of rockets Hamas was firing at Israeli civilians from behind human shields, or the extensive network of terror tunnels they dug for the purpose of kidnapping Israeli citizens, gobbling up a substantial portion of the international aid that has been pouring into Gaza for many years. Those details would have made for a more nuanced discussion than the one he wanted to have.

Other senior Turkish politicians turned to a more familiar suspect in their conspiracy theories, while others around the world pointed to their own favorite boogeymen, as the Daily Mail relates:

The Mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, said he was convinced the Israeli intelligence service Mossad was behind the attacks, linking them to France’s recent move towards recognising Palestine as an independent state.

Mossad is definitely behind such incidents… it is boosting enmity towards Islam.’ Mr Gokcek said, according to Financial Times.

In Russia, several pro-Kremlin commentators blamed the United States and the CIA for the attack, the newspaper reported.

One, Alexei Martynov, director of the International Institute for New States, said ‘I am sure that some American supervisors are responsible for the terror attacks in Paris, or in any case the Islamists who carried them out.’

The French government used the Kouachi brothers and their cell–which claimed to be Islamic warriors aligned with al-Qaeda, but really aren’t Muslims at all–as patsies to wipe out a magazine’s editors and writers, and murder hostages at a Kosher deli, as part of an elaborate scheme to discredit Islam… or it was the Mossad, up to their old tricks… or it was the CIA, or perhaps aliens from outer space. Why not? Having agreed not to see the actual perpetrators of the attack clearly, certain Western politicians have opened the door to all sorts of wild hallucinations. The fact that some of them are coming from the president of a NATO member is profoundly disturbing.


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