American Jews Revoke Peace Prize Given to Turkish PM 10 Yrs Ago
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan says he will gladly return an award given to him by a Jewish-American association a decade ago in a letter released by his office, which also called on the US group to condemn Israel’s government policies in Gaza.
The New York-based American Jewish Congress said in a letter to Erdogan last week that he had become the world’s “most virulent anti-Israeli leader” and it demanded that he return the prize. He had been given the award partly for his efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians 10 years ago.
“Prime Minister Erdogan will be glad to return the award given back in 2004,” Turkey’s ambassador to Washington Serdar Kilic said in the letter addressed to American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen.
Erdogan’s office released a copy of the letter to the media, describing it as Turkey’s official response.
“The absence of this award will not prevent Prime Minister Erdogan from resolutely fighting against terrorism, working towards the peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and upholding the safety and well-being of the Jewish community in Turkey,” the letter continued.
Rosen’s open letter to Erdogan had cited the Turkish leader’s recent comments that Israel had “surpassed Hitler in barbarism” through its attacks on Gaza. However, there is widespread anger in Turkey at Israel’s offensive in Gaza.