On March 18, a national day for Turkey to commemorate the Gallipoli Victory and the martyrs that fell in 1915, pro-government Takvim daily targeted jewish journalist Karel Valansi of Şalom Newspaper. On the headline Takvim went so far as to claim that Valansi is a foreign jewish journalist stationed in Turkey.
The annual commemoration for March 18 Gallipoli Victory and Martyrs Day has brought up antisemitism in the pro-government Takvim this year. The targeting has received reactions from the Turkish Jewish Society.
CHP Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu tweeted as part of the annual commemoration, “we know eachother from our eyes, for thousands of years we have been side by side and united we are a giant fatherland. Turks, Kurds, Alevis, Sunnis, Pontians, Circassians… We have made Çanakkale (Gallipoli) impenetrable. As with yesterday, today we are united again. We are friend to the forsaken, together we are the Republic.”
Journalist Karel Valansi quoted İmamoğlu’s tweet with the note, “again we are not invited to the occasion.”
Istanbul mayor responded shortly after to journalist Valansi saying “you are right in your sensitivity. As with our jewish citizens who have fought in the Gallipoli Front and struggled for our independence, everyone of all faiths and identities are primary citizens of this fatherland, they are the citizens and hosts. I wish you a good day.”
Pro-government Takvim daily -owned by AKP chair & President Erdoğan’s son-in-law- picked up on this tweet-conversation between Karel Valansi and Ekrem İmamoğlu to target Valansi, implying that she is a foreigner stationed in Turkey.
On its cover picture for the news article tited “Even the Mason would not tremble Ekrem this much” Takvim used the alternate headline “he is enemy of the Turk and extremely polite towards the jew!!!” implying that she does not deserve to be treated kindly because she is not Turkish. Takvim also included a site note “do not ever forget the name Karel Valansi” next to a portrait of hers montaged in the cover picture.
In the antisemitic news article on Takvim, a twitter dialogue from months ago between journalist Nevşin Mengü and Karel Valansi is also mentioned. In this dialogue, Mengü had apologized after it was stated that there is an undertone of antisemitism in her tweet.
Antisemitism is a frequent reference point in the media in Turkey and from the coronavirus pandemic to historic articles, jewish citizens are projected as targets by many news outlets in racist coverage of developments.
CONDEMNATION AGAINST ANTISEMITISM
Turkish Jewish Community -Turkish Chief Rabbinate Foundation- issued a condemnation against pro-government Takvim as well as other antisemitic media coverage that has shown an increase recently. In its message TJC addressed Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gül and Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun stating “without waiting for a new ‘Human Rights Action Plan’ to be announced, we are waiting for an effective precaution against this hatred.”
Turkish-Jewish newspaper Şalom also published an article declaring condemnation of the targeting of its writer Karel Valansi and the hate-speech.