Turkish Jews call on US Jewish group to reconsider demanding return of award to PM

A supporter holds a book about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Eroğan during an iftar dinner in Adana. AA Photo

The Turkish Jewish Community has called on the American Jewish Congress to re-evaluate its decision to demand the return of an award given to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan following his response to the recent Gaza operations.

“We have just read with deep resentment your demand to the Turkish Republic’s prime minister, Erdoğan, to return the award you gave him a decade ago,” reads the letter sent to Jack Rosen, the president of the American Jewish Congress, posted on the Turkish Jewish Community's website. 

“We found this decision of yours very unfortunate just at the time that the Foreign Ministry harshly rejected the aggressive calls of opposition parties to return this award, saying the political criticisms of Israel must not [turn into] anti-Semitic statements at all,” it added.

The American Jewish Congress penned an open letter to Erdoğan on July 24, asking him to return the award it gave him in 2004 and accusing the Turkish leader of “dangerous rhetoric” and “inciting violence against the Jewish people.”

In the letter, Rosen said Erdoğan had become “arguably the most virulent anti-Israel leader in the world.” Erdoğan has spoken out strongly against Israel’s operations in Gaza, accusing it of committing genocide and “barbarism surpassing Hitler.”

However, the Turkish Jewish Community's letter said such moves would not help soothe the tense situation in the region.

“After all we believe that today amid the tragic losses we are witnessing in the Middle East, it is not appropriate at all to break down all the bridges but to try to amend instead the lack of confidence aroused between all the parties involved...

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