Major Turkish Paper Links Jewish Conspiracy To Coal Mine Tragedy

 May 21, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        
PM Erdoğan urged to denounce pro-government paper's front page Anti-Semitic attacks
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to denounce a pro-government newspaper's front page anti-Semitic red banner headlines attempting to link an alleged Jewish conspiracy to international coverage of last week's coal mine tragedy in Soma, Turkey. In addition, the paper, Yeni Akit, ran a photo on the front page (see below) of the mine's owner whose son-in-law it claims is Jewish. According to the daily which regularly promotes anti-Semitic views, "…the cartel media in cooperation with Jews, Jew-lover parallel media and Jew controlled western media targets the Prime Minister over the Soma disaster, it is revealed that the groom of Alp Gürkan, owner of the company responsible for the disaster, is a Jew named 'Mario Asafrana' who changed his name and is now called 'Mahir'."

At this time of national trauma after the mining disaster, the injection of Jew-hatred into the mainstream mass media in Turkey could be devastating to the nation's Jewish community that has lived in peace for hundreds of years," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Wiesenthal Center. In an earlier interview with theAlgemeiner paper, Rabbi Cooper called the Yeni Akit story "one of the most despicable and frightening uses of anti-Semitism by a contemporary newspaper." 

"As a nation mourns the death of hundreds of its people in a coal mine—such a banner headline seeks to further fan the toxic hate of Jews. The Wiesenthal Center urges Prime Minister Erdoğan to publicly denounce the newspaper's screaming hatred," Cooper concluded.
The story was originally reported in the English-language Hurriyet newspaper:


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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).