Turkish media radicalize anti-Israel voices – analysis


Turkish media, combined with an army of online social media that support Ankara’s far-right AKP party and its anti-Israel views, has led to growing incitement to anti-Israel hatred. While Turkey is not alone in criticizing Israel for the recent conflict in Gaza, it has used its state media to produce the most anti-Israel media coverage in the region. Even compared to Iranian media, often internally focused, Ankara media is distinguished by extreme anti-Israel views. Unlike Iran, where there isn’t a wave of anti-Israel hatred online, Turkey has a huge social media presence, part of which is linked to the ruling party.

For example, Turkish state television TRT produces continuous anti-Israel propaganda. On Friday, he took a video released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and claimed it was wrong and that TRT would show the “truth of Palestine.” Then, TRT posted a video claiming that Israel was “hitting the blockade of Gaza” and claimed that Israel had killed children, showing the bodies of children. He posted a meme mocking the Austrian Chancellor for flapping an Israeli flag. In the meme, the state television station showed the Israeli flag in Austria and then the “people’s power” of pro-Palestinian protesters in Austria who “liberate Palestine”. TRT denies that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and has claimed that Austria is showing “solidarity with Tel Aviv”. The same Turkish media call “Al-Quds” Jerusalem.

Every TRT clip contains only anti-Israel messages and never even pretends to be information or explanations. Another clip on Friday claimed to show Israeli “settlers” shooting Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah. There is no pretense of investigation or journalism, where journalists can go and question people or the police to see what happened. This may come as no surprise since Turkey is the world’s largest jailer of journalists and typically jails any journalist critical of the ruling AK party.

Among the other headlines of the TRT on Friday was one that asked if “Zionism is the source of the violence that is spreading on your sons.” This was followed by a report on “Racist and Colonial Colonial References in Zionism”. The TRT also hosted Hamas terrorist leader Khaled Meshaal for a discussion. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has supported Hamas terrorism in the past and hosted Hamas leaders. Turkey condemns “terrorism” but tends to assert that Armenians or Kurds are “terrorists” while welcoming Hamas. Even the Iranian media does not give Hamas terrorists as much coverage and support as the Turkish state media. To further incite Israel, TRT showed chants of young Israelis, claiming they were an “armed militia.” Turkey has more experience with armed militias, having recruited Syrians to fight in Libya and arming them. The media did not call them armed militias, only unarmed Israelis.

Anti-Israel views have spread on social media. A Turkish woman said she stood with Palestine and hashtagged the message “Israel is killing civilians”. Turkey reports retweet images of clashes and violence in Israel with celebratory comments on the liberation of “Palestine.” A pro-Turkey Twitter account posted an image of Turkish forces after the Kurdish invasion of Afrin in 2018, after Turkey occupied Afrin and ethnically cleansed it of Kurds and Yazidis. The image. Was photographed to show Turkish soldiers in Jerusalem “liberating” the Dome of the Rock. Turkish religious leaders and Erdogan’s office have said they will liberate Jerusalem and have vowed to surrender to Al-Aqsa after turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque last year.

In another tweet, an anti-Israel social media user from Turkey posted a photo of an injured Kurdish boy seriously injured by Turkish shelling in 2019 near Serekaniye, and the user claimed it was ‘a Palestinian child. This shows that pro-Erdogan media users in Turkey may not have sympathy for the Kurds bombed in Syria by Turkey, but will use their images to lobby for the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, the Anadolu media in Ankara are pushing the same pro-Erdogan anti-Israel propaganda. He presents Turkey as the leader of the efforts against Israel and claims that Israel has killed “126 martyrs” in Gaza. Increasingly, these state media are embracing Islamist messages and making no claims to portray Hamas terrorists as positive. Hamas’s Meshaal is also cited. The Israelis are not cited or given the same titles as the leaders of Hamas. Nor is the head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

In addition, on May 13, Turkey’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Dr Ali Arbash, delivered a sermon dressed in black and holding a sword. Turkish media proudly showed the image, which looked more like an ISIS sermon than the kind of religious leadership of a NATO member. According to the report, the religious leader, sword in hand, “also prayed for the Aqsa Mosque.” This is similar to last year’s rhetoric of Turkey “freeing” Al-Aqsa using a mixture of religious zeal and a push for Turkish regional leadership. Turkey’s flirtation with Islamist extremists dates back many years. In 2014, Turkey was accused of not doing enough to close the border as ISIS operatives transited through Turkey. ISIS leader Baghdadi was found by the United States just one kilometer from the Turkish border and ISIS operatives fled Raqqa for Turkey. Ankara’s message radicalized extremists in France who carried out terrorist attacks last year. Pro-Turkey protesters appear to be at the heart of some anti-Israel rallies in Germany and other European countries, including a rise in anti-Semitism.


About William Ferguson

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