Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took a sly swing at the Jewish faith late last week during a speech at an award ceremony organized by the country’s Roma community in Bursa.
The barb came within what started out as a positive comment — as Erdogan’s barbs often do.
In accepting the “Great Roman” award on Feb. 6, Erdogan mentioned that he grew up in Kasimpasa, a neighborhood in Istanbul that was home to many Roma as well. “I know the Roma culture,” he said, and then began condemning racism, Islamophobia and discrimination, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.
“I am addressing to those who talk about women’s rights. Why don’t you raise your voice against the Jews who thank God in their prayers that they were not created as women? Was there any other understanding, a logic as demeaning for women as this one?”
The snide remark is a deliberate misinterpretation of one of the morning blessings recited by men — and women (the women’s version states praise to God that they were created as He desired) in recognition of their different roles and responsibilities in Jewish life.
In October 2014, a Haaretz reporter commented in an article that “Turkey, once a safe haven for Jews, now outranks Iran in harboring anti-Semitic sentiment.” An unnamed security coordinator told the reporter that Jews living in Istanbul “try to keep a low profile.”...Just goes to show that Jews should not depend on Roma to defend them in our day just because they were both targeted for extermination by the Nazis. (Also--Armenians for sure shouldn't rely on Roma.)