Erdogan questions Israel’s right to exist

By Wolfgang Ranft

This will be an explosive visit: Next Friday, Turkey’s ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan (69) is coming to Germany and will meet, among others, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (65, SPD). This Friday Erdogan incited against Israel again!

Specifically, Erdogan accused Israel of expansionism against the background of the war against the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel is trying to “build a state whose history only goes back 75 years and whose legitimacy is questioned by its own fascism,” he claimed at a commemoration of the anniversary of the death of the republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Ankara.

In plain language: Erdogan is questioning Israel’s right to its own state!

The Turkish leader also accused Israel of threatening to use nuclear weapons. Without elaborating, he added that Israel has the “illusion of a promised land.” But this is “wishful thinking”.

Since the Islamist Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th with more than 1,200 deaths, the Israeli military has taken massive action against terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip.

Erdogan’s propaganda continues in Germany too: his chief imam is having sermons against the oppression of Muslims in mosques.

Erdogan questions Israel's right to exist

Imam Ali Erbas and Turkish President Erdogan at the opening of a mosque in Cologne

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Henning Kaiser

Since the Hamas attack on Israel, the Turkish religious authority “Diaynet” has been spreading inflammatory messages. The Friday sermons it published spoke of “genocide” in Gaza and that “our Palestinian brothers and sisters” live in “their own land under oppression, imprisonment and injustice.”

The authority, which is close to Erdogan, continues to take a completely one-sided stance. The sermon published this Friday says: “With our determination and effort, all the oppressed, especially our brothers and sisters in Palestine, will smile.” It is about “not deviating from justice and the truth, despite the cruelty of the oppressors.”

After all, the Diyanet sermon also says: “We are the ones who will work for the peace and tranquility of humanity with the strength we draw from our faith.”

There was already clear opposition from Bavaria to Erdogan and his agitation against Israel. The CSU leader in the state parliament, Klaus Holetschek, warned on “X” (formerly Twitter): “The following applies to Erdogan’s visit: Anyone who agitates against Israel and glorifies Hamas is not welcome here.”

However, there is still no criticism of Hamas’ violent actions in the Friday sermon from Turkey. Neither are thoughts of Israeli victims. Lots of things to talk about for the Chancellor when he receives Erdogan next Friday…