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Turkey’s President Invokes Holocaust in Slamming France’s Crackdown on Radical Islam

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October 26, 2020
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at the official opening ceremony of Istanbul’s new airport (Istanbul Yeni Havalimani) on October 29, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invoked the Holocaust in condemning France’s crackdown on radical Islam, calling it part of Europe’s history of criminality against members of minority religions.

In a speech Monday in Ankara, Erdogan slammed French President Emmanuel Macron’s recently announced plan to combat radical Islam by banning home schooling and dissolving some nonprofit organizations, among other measures.

“The rising Islamophobia in the West has turned into a wholesale attack on our book, our prophet and everything we consider holy,” Erdogan said. “Relocations, inquisitions and genocides towards members of different religions is not a practice that is foreign to Europe. The crimes against humanity committed against Jews 80 years ago, the acts against our Bosnian siblings in Srebrenica just 25 years ago are still in the memory.”

Erdogan’s comments come just days after he said Macron “needs mental treatment” and called for a boycott of French products at a meeting of his Islamist AKP party, Le Figaro reported. In response, France recalled its ambassador from Ankara over what the French foreign minister called an “insult.”

In a statement Monday, the president of CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, urged France to take a firm line on Erdogan, whom he called “the tyrant of Ankara.”

France, Francis Kalifat said, “must not become the new arena for Erdogan’s follies.”

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