Making us sick: An open letter to a Turkish MP

Dear Mr. Kiniklioğlu,

I write in response to your op-ed article, This Israeli Government Has Gone Too Far, in last Wednesday’s International Herald Tribune.

“It makes yer sick . . .” So a dear, late uncle of mine would commence his not infrequent tirades against the hypocrisy and double standards of the international community and media in its treatment of Israel. And, after reading your ill-thought-out piece, I have not been able to get Uncle Stanley’s words out of my head.

As Deputy Chairman of External Affairs in Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Spokesman of your parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, I would have expected you to know at least a little of your own country’s human rights record, however uncomfortable the facts.

From the opening, however, of your article’s second paragraph – “I have many friends in Israel . . .” (the equivalent of the anti-Semite’s familiar “Some of my best friends are Jews . . .”) – I feared the worst. And your description of the raid on the Gaza flotilla and of its “peace activists” – they of the delightful “Go back to Auschwitz” call – flies in the face of all the evidence, which clearly shows an attempted lynch of IDF soldiers.

How would Turkey respond to another country daring to interfere with its treatment of the Kurds? And how would your soldiers respond to beatings with iron bars, to having their weapons grabbed and turned on them, and to being thrown off the deck of a ship? Would Turkey provide the “independent investigation”, “apology”, “compensation” and “punish[ment]” which you now demand of Israel?

Your reference to the war which Israel “unleashed” in Gaza totally ignores its cause: eight long years of Hamas rocket attacks (still continuing). Turkey has hardly been a model of restraint when it comes to its Hamas, the Kurdish PKK. Moreover, conditions in Gaza make it seem like The Ritz compared to Turkey’s savagely neglected Kurdish hinterlands.

Turkey is not one-tenth of the democracy that Israel is (and after only 62 years of existence). Seeing as your Masters in International Relations would appear to have excluded them from its syllabus, here are just a few of the uncomfortable details:

  • In 2008, Turkey ranked second (after Russia) in the list of countries with the largest number of open human rights violation cases at the European Court of Human Rights (source, and see this table).
  • In addition to thousands of “disappearances”, by the close of 2008, a total of 2,949 people had been killed by unknown perpetrators and 2,308 by extrajudicial executions in the, primarily Kurdish, southeast and eastern regions of Turkey (source).
  • Turkish politicians, trade unionists, journalists and human rights activists (genuine ones!) have been convicted merely for having used the word “Kurdistan” (source), while Turkey has a long history of deaths at demonstrations due to excessive police force, with 13 killed during a PKK funeral as recently as March 2006 (source).

For details of Turkey’s “cultural genocide” of the Kurds, its invasion, occupation and ethnic cleansing of northern Cyprus, and – most heinous of all – its extermination of up to one a half million Armenians, see here, here and here.

Where do you find the gall, Mr. Kiniklioğlu, to lecture Israel (or any country for that matter) about “blatant disregard for international norms and law”, to quote Amnesty International – whose website dedicates one hundred webpages solely to Turkey (and, then, only going back to 1994!) – or to moralise about what “the conscience of the Turks” can or cannot “carry the burden of”? What contemptible hypocrisy and sanctimoniousness!

The feebleness of your argument (if indeed there is one) is reflected in your desperate, shameful references to how the Turks “welcomed the Jews escaping from the Inquisition in Spain in 1492” and to how your “diplomats have risked their lives to save European Jews from the Nazis” (according to my research, a total of three Turks have been honoured by Yad Vashem).

You conveniently (cunningly?) omit to mention, however, the self-interest inherent in the Sultan’s and Atatürk’s aforementioned actions, and the subsequent huge contribution – especially commercial – of Turkish Jewry to your country. You also overlook, inter alia, Turkey’s racist 1942 Wealth Tax, its role in the Struma disaster of the same year, and the no less than three terrorist attacks on Istanbul’s Neve Shalom Synagogue.

Have you forgotten, too, the hundreds of Israeli search and rescue workers who risked their own lives in order to save Turks in the aftermath of the 1999 Izmit earthquake?

You seem to consider that Turkey has been doing Israel a huge favour, all these years, by accepting arms supplies and upgrades, together with military intelligence and know-how, from our vastly superior army and air force.

No, it was not “the Israeli raid”, as you mischievously (duplicitously?) suggest, that “was a turning point for Turkish attitudes towards Israel” or which “crossed a critical threshold” . . . but rather your prime minister’s and party’s decision to realign Turkey with the terrorist states of Syria and Iran (you disingenuously also throw into your article mention of “the tension surrounding Iran’s nuclear program”, in which Turkey is now an accomplice). In such circumstances, writing that “Turks regard the current Israeli government as unfriendly” would be akin to Hitler having said that about the Russians, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union!

It is worrying that the International Herald Tribune sees fit to publish such dangerous, ill-thought-out drivel, merely by virtue of its author being a member of his country’s parliament. Had you submitted the same as part of an undergraduate degree in Politics at a British university (or even at a former polytechnic), it would have received a straight “F”.

To give you some idea of the strength of feeling here about your country’s double standards, an Israeli artist friend of mine – by no means a right-winger – related to me over coffee yesterday morning how he had walked 45 minutes to the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv merely to “give it the finger” (literally). And I, too, give you the finger, Mr. Kiniklioğlu, together with your vile, knuckle-dragging nation of hypocrites.

If you have anything to say in your defence – as to why you believe that your sickening hypocrisy and double standards should not earn you June’s Mook of the Month (with your reputation, from Web searches of your name, being forever associated with mookness) – I invite you to post it to

Yours sincerely,

melchett mike

[I have e-mailed this post to Mr. Kiniklioğlu via the contact page of his website.]


29 responses to “Making us sick: An open letter to a Turkish MP

  1. It is surely a measure of any civilised country as to how it treats its women and girls. And Turks treat theirs like chattels. In Turkey, 23.5% of females are illiterate and, according to In the 2004 report “Turkey: Women Confronting Family Violence,” Amnesty International cited a study by the Purple Roof Foundation, which found that 88.2 percent of surveyed women were living in violent situations, and 68 percent had been beaten by their husbands.

    In another example, The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights cited a study by the General Directorate of Women’s Status and Problems, which found that 97% of women experience both physical and psychological abuse by partners and relatives.

    And yet this is the country that the European Commission, Barack Obama, Tony Blair and many others believe should be admitted into the European Union. They are clearly unable to see beyond their cheap-labour tinted glasses.

    Turkey is in no position to lecture anyone about human rights, let alone Israel.

  2. Mike, this is a brilliant piece, have you sent it in to the Herald Tribune?



  3. Thank you, Un:dhimmi and Dan. Perhaps I will send in an edited version, in the morning.

  4. Other than the very few places you know I disagree w/, this is 1 of your best! I agree — submit it as an op-ed! Kol HaKavod!!

    1 question — were you & your friend drinking Turkish coffee? 😉 LOL

  5. Oh God. If a single Turk comes across this blog, there’s gonna be a sh–storm in the comments.
    Should be a lot of fun.

  6. Jeremiah Bullfrog

    Superb letter … ‘SPOT ON’ ….

    The ‘tide has turned’. I think Turkey are spoiling for military confrontation.

  7. Daniel Marks

    The problem, in my opinion, is that for all these years we’ve said nothing about Turkish human rights violations, the rights of the Kurds.

    We’ve also refused to recognize the Armenian massacre and have instead had only good things to say about our friends in Turkey. We’ve bought their kosher Turkish stuffed vine leaves and expressed our love in a million smaller ways, like stealing taps from their cheap hotels.

    Therefore an oppressed Turkish journalist or trade union leader might legitimately question the depth our sincerity when we express our concern. Likewise, a Kurdish freedom fighter might ask us:

    Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
    Will you love me tomorrow?

    What shall we reply?

  8. My hope, Daniel, is that truth will win out. (Slim chance, but hope I must.) The world must recognize evil behavior from any & every nation that promotes it. There is no shame in a nation admitting the folly of it’s misguided loyalty. That would be an extreme & welcome form of t’shuva. Unfortunately, there is no nation today (or, for that matter, throughout the whole of human history) that does not need to do the hard work of t’shuva. As we say on YK: aval anachnu chatanu.

  9. Daniel Marks

    The scariest part of all is that I may yet find myself agreeing with Greg regarding this matter. Yes, he is right.

    What can I say Greg, old pal.

    “Like a clock that has stopped but tells the right time twice a day – your time has finally come!”

    Cherish the moment.

  10. Agreed, Daniel. If you get into bed with the Devil, there’s a fair chance you’re gonna get shafted by it (or something like that!)

    Sadly, Israel is rarely in a position to be able to choose its friends. Hence, Turkey and apartheid South Africa.

    I had a Kurdish Iraqi client in London, however, who almost ejaculated when he heard that I was from Israel. In his broken English, he used to say: “Give me gun. I shoot Arafat.” He related how Palestinian refugees used to terrorise the Kurds in Iraq. Quel surprise!

  11. LOL Indeed, Daniel, indeed! 🙂

  12. If I may interrupt you two lovebirds (it won’t last!), amongst all the self-hate, I spotted a very interesting, even amusing, snippet in yesterday’s Haaretz (

    “. . . global statistics reveal that the average Gazan is better off than the average Turk. An infant in Gaza has a life expectancy a year and a half longer than his Turkish cousin – 73.5 as compared to 72.”

    The conclusion?

    “Gaza should send assistance to Turkey. In light of Erdogan’s decision to join the Tehran-Gaza axis, Israel should rethink its attitude toward the Kurdish minority in Turkey. Although Erdogan initiated cultural autonomy for the Kurds, they remain an oppressed minority group. While it’s true that the PKK is a terror organization – the Kurds’ Hamas – that is no reason not to talk to the group and to recognize the Kurds’ right to self-determination. And how are the children in the villages of southeastern Turkey at fault? Food should be sent to them, and in preparation for the snowy winter, blankets and fuel as well. There is no question the Turkish army will waive its country’s sovereignty and allow the aid ships to arrive.”

  13. Daniel Marks

    Can we go back to the ejaculation bit?

    What exactly were you and your Kurdish client doing when you mentioned Arafat?

  14. Have you never heard of client confidentiality, Daniel?!

    Anyway, the lovely way things are going, I think Greg may soon start having such things in mind re the two of you . . . you know these Reformers! 😉

  15. Dearest Mike … such is acceptable not only in Reform, but (in chronological order) in Reconstructionist, Renewal & now, even Conservative/Masorti! … Beware! 😉

  16. I’ve posted a piece this morning on a YouGov survey which found that most Brits equate Islam with extremism.

    It was interesting to note that YouGov appear, unusually, to have chosen not to publish this on their website as they usually do.

    However, they have published the results of a poll from last Wednesday, with findings critical of Israel’s handling of the MV St. Pancake/Gaza incident.

    Censorship? Double standards?

    The juxtaposition of the two polls showing the duality of outcomes alone, would have been worth seeing – not to mention an interesting topic for discussion.

    It would also have been interesting to see whether the findings changed later in the week, as information of the true intention of the IHH and the Islamo-thug crew of the Mavi Marmara came to light.

    Needless to say, though – I’m not holding my breath 🙂

  17. So the Turks are slowly starting to realize that they’ ve shot themselves in the foot.
    Since the Islamic parties have taken over the govt. and their, not very well disguised, attempts at becoming the leaders of the Islamic world, the Europeans are taking a good hard look at there relationships with Turkey. Thus the non-acceptance of Turkey to the EU, which also dashes their hopes of being the ‘bridge’ between the West and the Islamic world.

    This whole episode is just a smoke-screen dreamed up by the Turks to show their ‘humanitarianism’ and make them more acceptable to the civilized world.

    But, as time goes on and more and more of the truth comes to light about the Turks involvement and who were amongst the peace advocates in this “peace” flotilla, so the lying, hypocritical shouts and screams against Israel increase in the vain attempt to create more smoke and SAVE FACE, that essential quality necessary to being an “Islamic gever”.

    As the hypocrisy increases so the fall is further.
    The bigger they are, the harder …..yada yada yada.

    Great article Mike, but stay cool as you keep fingering.

  18. David Prager

    Well done Mike for a well-researched and excellently presented posting. I suggest you send it to our foreign office chappies for hasbara use, if they have any understanding of what the word means.

  19. Arami oved avi???

  20. Amazing blog. Full of righteous anger. And Uncle Stanley was right, it does make yer sick. Btw, have you read Infidel by Aayan Hirsi Ali? Mind blowingly good.

  21. Daniel Marks

    There are several other “make’s ye”s worth noting:

    “Make’s ye cry”

    “Make’s ye laugh”

    And of course, “Make’s ye think”

    I digress slightly but Also, “Ye go-eh laugh!” has long been a favorite of mine.

    Philosophers among us are oft to pause a few moments, only to explain that “If ye don’t laugh…y’ll ave t’cry!” Which is a fair point.

  22. Thank you, Caroline. And no, I haven’t. But I did read a provocative review, last week, of Hirsi Ali’s latest book, which suggested that she might not have become quite as prominent if she wasn’t quite as fit!

  23. Excellent & oh so true letter.

    Well done and thanks Mike.

    Duly ‘tweeted’ to ensure increased exposure. It deserves it!

  24. Gamil Elias

    Greetings Infidels!

    Even the sea has cried for the innocent Turkish terrorists who wanted nothing more than to bring humanitarian AIDS to the Palestinian womens and childrens.

    Revenge will be ours!

  25. i dont understand.. why do all of you condemn turkey? The main problem is israel occupied palestinian’s land and just as helen thomas said lately : israel, get the hell out palestinian’s land.

  26. Geez, Mike … who do allow to read your blog? I would have thought your “normal” readers whould have waged jihad on them by now! 😉 (only partly kidding)

    Seriously, while many will find this uncomfortable, I think the following is an important statement … “My Take: The Flotilla’s Lessons for Mideast Peace Activists” by Jeremy Ben-Ami, Special to CNN

  27. Outstanding, wonderfully researched and so needed, thank you.

  28. I trust you are talking about my post, Randeen, and not Jeremy Ben-Ami’s article (linked to above by Greg)?

    Second thoughts, you must be . . . there is no “research” in his!

    Seeing as Daniel (Marks) must be busy with his Shabbos shopping – either that, or taking part in today’s Tel Aviv Gay Parade – I will call Ben-Ami’s article for what it is, on my learned friend’s behalf: talking a good game from the comfort of an apologetic American armchair.

    “recognize that we aren’t in some great Huntingtonian clash of civilizations, in which the forces of light (us) line up against the forces of darkness (them)”

    Yeh, really!

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