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Press Release

ADL Appalled at Reports that Turkish Deputy P.M. Blamed ‘Jewish Diaspora’ for Fueling Demonstrations

New York, NY, July 2, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the prime minister of Turkey and other government leaders to immediately, strongly and publicly reject disturbing conspiratorial statements reportedly made by the deputy prime minister who blamed, among others, the “Jewish diaspora” for instigating and fueling recent demonstrations in Turkey.

In remarks yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay reportedly claimed that the foreign media and the “Jewish diaspora” were responsible for “the conspiracy” that was “trying to block the way of Great Turkey.” According to news reports, he said, “There are some circles that are jealous of Turkey’s growth. They are all uniting, on one side the Jewish diaspora. You saw the foreign media’s attitude during the Gezi Park incidents; they bought it and started broadcasting immediately, without doing an evaluation….”

“The anti-Semitic nature of this conspiratorial statement would be disturbing if uttered by anyone in Turkey,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “It is all the more outrageous and harmful coming from such a high ranking member of the Turkish government. We share the concerns expressed by the Turkish Jewish community about the possible consequences of this rash remark.”

In a letter to Namik Tan, Turkey’s Ambassador to the United States, the League called on the prime minster and other government officials to “publicly and vociferously reject Mr. Atalay’s statement” if the reports about his remarks are accurate.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay
AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

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