Scores of tweets praising Hitler and Nazism illustrate the increase in anti-Semitism in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AKP party.
Now in power for 15 years, Erogan is unraveling the legacy of the founder of modern Turkey, Ataturk, who dismantled the Islamic Ottoman Empire and rebuilt it as a secular nation state.
The Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI, highlighted tweets from last month along with some dating back to 2010 that include references to Hitler and Jews such as, “If Hitler had lived, maybe now your lineage would be extinct and the world would be purified of a handful of filth.”
MEMRI said the tweets in its report received a total of approximately 1,500 “likes” and 480 retweets.
One declared: “Hitler and Nazi Germany will be known and remembered with gratitude and respect.”
Many include a quote attributed to Hitler: “One day you will curse me for every Jew I did not kill.”
MEMRI pointed out that in early 2005, Hitler’s manifesto, “Mein Kampf,” was the fourth best-selling book in the country.
It is now available not only in bookstores but at venues such as Migros, the country’s fourth-largest supermarket chain, with more than 1,800 locations.
Translations of “Mein Kampf” have been published in Turkey by 35 different publishing houses, including 18 since 2016.
Meanwhile, attacks on synagogues and anti-Semitic depictions of Jews on television programming on the Turkish state-owned TV network TRT have been documented by MEMRI.
Erdoğan and politicians in his party have been depicting Jews and Israel as enemies, using them as scapegoats to rally voters ahead of the June 24 general elections.
Here are just three of the dozens of examples of May tweets MEMRI provides:
- Twitter user @ahmetcoskun511: “I celebrate the Germans because they killed the Jews. Hitler, who discovered the devil in the world before everyone else, was a very farseeing and visionary person. I wish he had killed all of them.”
- Twitter user @BayramErgin19: “These Jews cannot just be condemned, they need to be erased from the Earth, thrown, like Hitler did, burned in ovens.”
- Twitter user @FermanTr2023: “Adolf Hitler really loved the Jews. He loved them so much he would host them in his gas chambers.”