Faruk Kose (photo: Haber Vaktim)
A Turkish pundit writing for Yeni Akit, a major publication aligned
with President Erdoğan, called for the country’s Jews to be taxed to pay
for reconstructing buildings damaged in Gaza during Israel’s recent
Operation Protective Edge. The idea has precedence: During World War II, Jews, as well as ethnic Armenians and Greeks, were subject to an arbitrary lump-sum tax. It also has overtones of the 'dhimmi' jizya tax on non-Muslims. The Algemeiner reports (with thanks: Michelle):
Faruk Köse said that the “Gaza Fund Contribution Tax” should apply to
Turkish Jews as well as foreign Jews doing business in Turkey and any
Turkish nationals with commercial ties to the Jewish state.
The columnist even said the tax should apply to any company or business that maintains a partnership with a Turkish Jew.
“The reconstruction of Gaza will be paid for by Jewish businessmen,” he said.
The penalty for failing to pay the tax should be the revocation of
the Jew’s business licence and the seizure of his property, Köse said.
Köse also sparked controversy in July when he penned an open letter
to Turkey’s chief rabbi, calling on Erdoğan to demand that the Jewish
community apologize for Israel’s actions in Gaza.
“You came here after being banished from Spain. You have lived
comfortably among us for 500 years and gotten rich at our expense. Is
this your gratitude – killing Muslims? Erdoğan, demand that the
community leader apologize!” he wrote at the time.
The article was mentioned in a subsequent open letter to Erdoğan from
Jewish human rights group, the Anti-Defamation League, calling on the
leader to “publicly reject all expressions of anti-Semitism including
the scapegoating of Turkish Jews for the actions of Israel, and assure
the Turkish Jewish community that they continue to have the full support
and protection of the state and people of Turkey.”
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