Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells Turkey’s Daily Sabah that Turkish Jews have nothing to fear, and that the Turkish government is “responsible for their security of life and property.” At the same time, he called on the country’s Jewish leadership to release a statement condemning the Israeli government.
Speaking after a string of violent riots in Istanbul and Ankara targeting Israeli consulate buildings, Erdogan says he “talked with our Jewish citizens’ leaders on Thursday and I stated that they should adopt a firm stance and release a statement against the Israeli government.”
Turkey is officially home to roughly 18,000 Jews, a community that has existed there for millennia.
“I will contact them [Jewish leaders in Turkey] again, but whether or not they release a statement, we will never let Jewish people in Turkey get hurt,” Erdogan says.
The prime minister says he’s working to have Israeli officials tried in the international court.