Esor Ben-Sorek

Turkish Tantrums… Exit Erdogan

The collapse of the former Ottoman empire brought new hope to the people of Turkey and to those nations which had been subjugated by the Ottomans.  Kemal Pasha Ataturk (Father of the Turks) was a bright light in the creation of the modern Turkish nation.

Under Erdogan, that light has significantly dimmed and is en route to the extinction of Ataturk’s  hopes and the death of his  dreams.

The Turkish dictator has shouted very loud and clear his dislike of the Netanyahu regime and he calls the IDF’s actions in the current Gazan protest march a “massacre” of “innocent” civilians on a “peaceful” march for a Land Day protest. He heralds the upcoming Nakba day which promises to bring one-half million protestors to the gates of Israel.

Additionally, he regrets the rapprochement between Turkey and Israel in 1916 following the event of the failed Turkish flotilla en route to end the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

This confused and misled arrogant Turkish ruler, scion of a nation which massacred in cold blood one-and-one-half million innocent Armenian and Greek Christians, young and old, men, women, children and babes in arms, during the closing years of World War I, dares to condemn us for our sole purpose of providing security for our country and our people.    What chutzpa !!!

Hundreds of those Armenian Christians who fled, arrived in Jerusalem where they and their descendants live happy, free and prosperous lives, a people of whom we Jews can be very proud. They are survivors of the Turkish genocide and we are the survivors of the German genocide. We both share similar sorrows.

I fail to understand why the government of Israel has neglected to declare the genocide of the Armenians in 1915. Many nations in the world have had the courage to do so. Sadly, we have not!

We demand that all nations recognize the trauma and loss of six million Jewish lives in the European Holocaust . Why then can we not demand recognition of the tragic Ottoman Turkish genocide of more than one million Armenian Christians?

At first, the reason was because Turkey was the only Muslim country who recognized us and who established diplomatic relations between our two countries. That was in the days when Turkey was ruled by an educated and understanding leader.

Additionally, we were able to fly over Turkish airspace, cutting travel time to Europe significantly.

Turkey also became a tourist paradise for greedy Israelis who came to Turkey, not to view its great culture, museums, and major cities but rather to spend their time and money in the Turkish bazaars buying gold, jewelry, leather goods and clothing, at rates much cheaper than in Israel.

Perhaps Erdogan will cancel all relations with us. Entry into Turkey will then be prohibited by the Turks. And who will bear the suffering? Not Israelis, but the merchants in the shuks and bazaars of Turkey who depend upon foreign tourism, especially Israeli tourists.

Why should we give economic support to a nation whose leader hates us and who wishes for our eventual disappearance from the pages of history?  Too many Israelis choose Turkish gold jewelry over better and more fair relations with Turkey’s government. Baal ha mammon, baal ha daya.

Perhaps we can wish for (and pray for during the final days of Pesach) that Hashem will open the eyes and the heart of Turkey’s Erdogan and will instill within him a new and circumcised heart of understanding, compassion and sincere and genuine friendship.

And as religious Turks might say:  “insh’Allah”.  As Jews might reply: “im yirtzeh Hashem”.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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