Turkish Embassy in Ottawa

Embassy Announcement

Statement By Spokesperson Of The Government Against Anti-semitism , 27.01.2009

Turkey has, since the beginning, undertaken efforts to reach a lasting peace and a ceasefire in the region, acting with conviction and a sense of responsibility. The efforts of President Gul, Prime Minister Erdoğan and the Government should be understood within this context. However, some people have interpreted these efforts in a wrong way. I would like to make clear that what Turkey is against, is the policies of the Israeli Government. Let me underline this point: what we oppose has to do with the policies. Indeed, the whole world has been vocal in front of this human tragedy -- the children who lost their lives, the outcry of women and the suffering of the families.

In face of such a human tragedy, Turkey is against these policies. This has nothing to do with the Israeli people, the Jewish people or the citizens of Jewish origin of this country who are just as distinguished and respectable as the rest of us. No one should distort the issue in this or that direction. We all know, and I know due to my personal relations with them, that these people contributed with their hard work and efforts to the development of this country and to the achievement of certain results, as much as we did. One such person was Jak Kahmi, that I remember with a lot of respect.  Because, we have endeavored together on many occasions to improve certain relations. He is involved in many highly patriotic efforts. Others that come to my mind are Ishak Alaton, the late Uzeyir Garih, and Bensiyon Pinto, who served as the president of the Jewish community for long years. They are the ones I know. We can extend this list.

All of these people have advocated, supported or contributed to all the initiatives that helped Turkey to develop. Therefore, these people are the dear citizens of this country. It is neither correct nor fair for any one to see this matter differently. We are not the only ones saying this. Indeed, numerous writers of Jewish descent and opinion leaders have expressed criticism over these jhpolicies from time to time. All our citizens living in this country enjoy the same rights and opportunities, and their security is guaranteed and secured by the government of the Republic of Turkey."