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Paris
August 23, 2004

WIESENTHAL CENTER URGES TURKEY TO CONDEMN ANTISEMITIC ARTICLE THAT GLORIFIES HITLER AND BIN LADEN, AND NOTES "SUCH INCITEMENT CONTRAVENES PROVISIONS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION WHICH TURKEY ASPIRES TO JOIN"

In a letter to Turkish Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Director for International Liaison, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed horror at the article by Abduharrim Karakoc in the 17 August edition of the daily newspaper Vakit (Time), which, not only glorifies the arch terrorist Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qa'eda organization, it also extols the name of Adolf Hitler and justifies the Holocaust.

Karakoc's most outrageous comments include:

"The concentration camps which were set up in Germany during World War II have been set up in Israel now. It is impossible not to admire the forethought of Adolf Hitler who was presented to the public opinion as 'racist, sadist, monster'."

"He predicted what would happen these days. He got rid of the Jews, because he knew that the conjurer Jews, who perceive racism as a religion and take pleasure in splattering the world with blood, would be a big trouble for the world."

"All non-Jewish countries are under risk, including Turkey."

"It seems that Hitler was a very foresighted man..."

"It was Hitler yesterday and Osama bin Laden today..."

Samuels recalled the 12 January 2004 meeting in Ankara between the Minister, the Wiesenthal Centers Associate Dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper and himself, in which Mr. Gul had thanked the Center "for its acknowledgement of Turkey's protection of its Jewish citizens during World War Two, its solidarity with the Turkish victims of terrorism and its support for his country's rightful place in Europe."

Samuels noted that: "The content of the Vakit article however, not only appears to violate Turkish law, but its apologia for genocide and incitement to antisemitism contravene the anti-racism provisions of the European Union which Turkey aspires to join. They also negate conventions of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to which Turkey is a signatory."

The Center urged the Turkish Government "to publicly condemn this article and to take disciplinary measures against its author and the editors of Vakit."

Samuels concluded: "This contradiction of Turkey's over five hundred year tradition of friendship with the Jewish people must be vigorously denounced."

The purpose of the 12 January Ankara meeting had been to discuss Turkey's cooperation in the Wiesenthal Centers global campaign to designate suicide bombing as a crime against humanity.

For further information, please contact Dr. Samuels at +33 6 09 77 01 58.