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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Turkish antisemitic TV blockbuster reveals Erdogan’s conspiratorial, anti-Semitic worldview


A Turkish antisemitic TV blockbuster reveals Erdogan’s conspiratorial, anti-Semitic worldview. (Wapo)

“The Last Emperor” is Turkey’s newest television blockbuster, consistently rating among Turkey’s top dramas since its February premiere. Every Friday night, 1 in 10 viewers tunes in to relive the last years of Abdulhamid II — an absolutist, pan-Islamist Ottoman sultan who resisted the secular-reformist Young Turk movement until it finally overthrew him in 1909. The series, airing on state television in three-hour episodes, promotes a worldview uncannily similar to that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: A free press, secularism and democracy are the work of foreign powers, religious minorities and godless liberals, and ultimately serve to erode national identity, honor and security.
Of all the series’ villains, none are more sinister than the Jews. Two minutes into its very first scene, Abdulhamid is riding in a procession in Istanbul when a mustachioed onlooker flips a coin into the hand of one of the royal guards. The soldier opens his hand to find the coin is etched with a Star of David surrounding a squat cross in the style favored by Crusaders and Freemasons. The signal thus received, dozens of his fellow guards turn around and open fire on the royal carriage. The screen fades to black — and to the crescent moon that accompanies the mournful opening theme.
As with much of “The Last Emperor,” most of it is fiction. Herzl’s father wasn’t poor but a wealthy businessman, and differed with his son not on the necessity of Jewish statehood but only on the methods for achieving it. Sarah, Herzl’s sidekick, doesn’t appear to be based on any real-life figure. At the First Zionist Congress, held on the show in Vienna (the actual one was in Switzerland), bearded delegates evoking the Elders of Zion applaud Herzl’s stump speech. “Soon all humankind will only live to serve us Jews, chosen by Jehovah,” Herzl intones, then paints the Zionist flag, a blue Star of David, for the assembled, braying crowd. Not satisfied, a red-dressed Sarah calls out from the audience, insisting that he flank the star with two horizontal blue stripes to mark the Jews’ supposed territorial ambitions: no less than the Nile to the Euphrates. To the delegates’ delight, Herzl complies.
That episode, which aired in March, provoked a surge in anti-Jewish invective on social media. One Twitter user vowed to turn the supposed Jewish homeland into a “Jewish graveyard.” Another, citing the same purportedly vast territorial objectives, declared, “The more I watch ‘The Last Emperor,’ the more my enmity to Jews increases — you infidels, you filthy creatures.” Both users identify in their bios as Erdogan supporters.
“The Last Emperor” may have superior production values, but its message is much the same. It is state propaganda designed to appeal to viewers’ worst instincts and leave them with a revisionist, conspiratorial narrative of Turkish history. Worst of all, while this account of Abdulhamid’s reign is almost pure fiction, the plight of Turkish citizens living under Erdogan’s increasingly sultanic rule is very much real. Hmmm........Pure antisemitic poison. Read the full story here

Related:

As I have detailed in the past, Erdogan wrote, directed, and played the leading role in a theatrical play titled Maskomya, staged throughout Turkey during the 1970s. (See picture above).  He was serving as president of the Istanbul Youth Group of Erbakan’s National Salvation Party at the time. “Mas-Kom-Ya” is a compound acronym for “Masons-Communists-Yahudi” — “Jews” — and the play focused on the evil nature of these three, whose common denominator was Judaism. When Valley of the Wolves was released in Turkey in 2006, it became the most expensive film ever made in Turkey. The film included a “cinematic motif” which featured an American Jewish doctor dismembering Iraqis allegedly murdered by American soldiers in order to harvest their organs for Jewish markets. At the time, then-Prime Minister Erdogan not only failed to condemn the film, he justified its production and popularity. His wife, Emine, also attended a gala screening of the film and sat next to the movie’s star. Read the full story here.

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