Turkish Columnist Slams Erdogan for Ignoring Itamar Attack

Hurriyet opinion article criticizes Turkey PM for condemning Israel's killing of children while remaining silent on the murder of a 3-month-old baby.

An op-ed in one of Turkey's leading newspapers initiated an unlikely attack on the country's prime minister earlier this week, for what it considered his hypocrisy in condemning Israel's attacks on the Palestinian civilian population, while completely ignoring the deadly stabbing attack at the West Bank settlement of Itamar.

Last Friday, Itamar's Fogel family - father Udi, 37, mother Ruth, 36, 10-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad, and three-month-old Hadas - were all stabbed to death in their home.

Erdogan Turkey – 8.02.2011 - AP

Quoting a 2010 statement by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hurriyet columnist Burak Bekdil, said that while the Turkish PM accused Israel of seeing "babies in their cradles as a threat," and of killing "babies in their mothers’ arms," he nonetheless remained conspicuously silent regarding the murderous attack in Itamar.

Bekdil quoted yet another instance in which Erdogan reprimanded Israel for its alleged war crimes from June of last year: "I am speaking to them in their own language. The sixth commandment says 'thou shalt not kill'. Did you not understand?"

"I'll say [it] again. I say in English 'you shall not kill'. Did you still not understand? So I'll say to you in your own language. I say in Hebrew 'Lo Tirtzakh'," he said in a televised speech to supporters of his Islamist-leaning AK Party.

However, in his column released earlier this week, the Turkish journalist, addressing Erdogan wrote: "Most predictably, we have not heard Mr. Erdoğan saying 'You shall not kill' in Arabic, and we probably never will."

"That’s hardly surprising since we have never heard Mr. Erdoğan speaking 'indiscriminately' in the past against the killing of children and defenseless people in Itamar, or elsewhere in Israel – for Saturday’s attack in Itamar was not the first of its kind," Bekdil added.

Quoting a statement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, regarding his hopes for a "bright day" without Israel, the Turkish columnist said ironically: "With five 'Jooos' having disappeared from earth after the Itamar attack, that bright day must be arriving sooner."

"I am still curious, however, about what rank the 3-month old Israeli 'soldier' held," Bekdil said, adding: "Captain? Lieutenant colonel? Certainly too young to be a general."