Erdogan’s Remarks About Israel Worsen Ties With Washington
Erdogan says Israelis "are only satisfied by sucking blood" as economy sours
Bad news for US-Turkey relations — and maybe worse news for the Turkish economy.
US-Turkey ties go from bad to worse. US-Turkey bilateral relations already were fractious, given US support for Kurdish groups Turkey considers terrorists and Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system. And now Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused US President Joe Biden of “writing history with your bloody hands” because of US support for Israel, in the context of an emotional diatribe on behalf of the Palestinians.
On Monday, Erdogan said in a televised speech that a “Jewish prime minister” had told him he took “greatest pleasure” to kill Palestinians when the unnamed official was a general in the Israel Defense Forces. “This is part of their (Israelis) nature” and “they are only satisfied by sucking blood.”
The US State Department called out Erdogan for “anti-semitic” and “incendiary” remarks. Erdogan’s communication director Fahrettin Altun shot back on Twitter that “enabling an apartheid regime in its repression of innocent people in occupied territories and then turning around and blaming others who call it out is the height of hypocrisy.” Diego Cupolo has the report here. These comments could also serve to increase anxiety in Turkey’s Jewish community, as Amberin Zaman reports below.
Economy ‘most vulnerable’. Meanwhile, a Wells Fargo survey of troubled economies lists Turkey as the most vulnerable in the world, as reported by Emerging Markets. “Turkey’s embattled currency appears on course to tumble further in the coming months,” Mustafa Sonmez reports, “as external headwinds threaten to aggravate the country’s entangled economic woes.”
Our take. Turkey’s collapsing economy and skyrocketing debt put it in the high-risk company of Argentina and Venezuela, according to the Wells Fargo report. Tight monetary policies are the conventional course, “but that hardly suits Erdogan’s political calculations,” adds Sonmez. Turkey’s faltering economy should encourage a rethink in bitter US-Turkey ties, but those relations seem to be sinking with the lira.