Tayyip Erdogan (photo: Reuters)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has extended his Rosh Hashana greetings to his country's Jews, the Jerusalem Post reports. His statement restates the myth that Turkey was a multicultural paradise over the centuries. This may have been true at certain times, but the brutal extermination of the Armenians, the expulsion of the Pontine Greeks, and entrenched discrimination against dhimmis belie a less-than-tolerant attitude towards non-Muslims.
"There have been a number of different beliefs and cultures living together for centuries in our country," the Turkish prime minister said in his address. "Special days and holidays add special color to our community life."
"Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year and I wish our Jewish citizens a healthy and fruitful new year," he added.
Erdodgan did not mention Israel in his statement.
His message came as a war of words was developing between him and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over comments made about the Holocaust and the number of Palestinians killed during conflicts.
On Wednesday, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that comments made by Erdogan to CNN were mistranslated by the network.
According to the original translation, Erdogan apparently said that Israel has killed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.
A Turkish transcript of the interview, provided by Turkish state news agency Anatolia, revealed that "Erdogan said hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed by Israelis," Hurriyet reported.
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