President Barack Obama has reached out to the Jew-hating, woman-insulting, Hamas-backing, journalist-jailing, protester-gassing, TV-controlling Islamist prime minister of Turkey.
Obama “spoke today with Prime Minister [Recep] Erdogan to congratulate him on his [Aug. 10] election as the 12th President of the Republic of Turkey and wish him well as he begins his term later this month,” according to a statement from the White House.
It likely was only a perfunctory call to an ally of the United States, rather than an effort to restart the close relationship that has faded since 2012, said Jonathan Schanzer, a vice president for research at the Federation for the Defense of Democracy.
Back then, Erdogan was “no. 2 on Obama’s speed dial,” he said. But the relationship fell apart when Erdogan failed to manage the Syrian civil war — which has now birthed an aggressive jihadi army alongside Turkey in Syria and Iraq — and began a more autocratic rule in Turkey, Schanzer said. “Those days are done,” he told The Daily Caller.
Obama’s phone call came only a few days after Erdogan declared that Jews “kill women so that they will not give birth to Palestinians; they kill babies so that they won’t grow up; they kill men so they can’t defend their country.”
Erdogan topped off the anti-Semitism with a threat of genocide: “They will drown in the blood they shed,” he told the Muslim audience.
In his statement, Obama also effectively endorsed Erdogan’s effort to revive Islam’s political role in Turkey, almost 100 years after Turkish modernizers in 1923 finally separated mosque and state, and ended the reputedly 1,400-year-old Islamic empire, or caliphate.
“The President praised the Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday [Aug. 10] and noted that as Turkey’s first directly elected President, the Prime Minister has an historic opportunity to further move Turkey forward,” said the statement.
Erdogan’s victory speech, however, outlined his efforts to change the constitution, make himself president and boost the role of Islam and the president in Turkey’s politics, culture and private lives.
Erdogan’s “increasing authoritarian tendencies … [ensure that] a lot of people are very concerned about the democratic standing of Turkey,” said Elmira Bayrasli, a Turkish political commentator.
But Erdogan added a few conciliatory sentences to his victory speech. “Today is the day Turkey is born from its ashes and a new Turkey is built… [and] I will not be the president of only those who voted for me. I will be the president of 77 million,” said one report.
Obama‘s public endorsement comes after six months of estrangement. They’d last talked publicly in February, according to the White House, although Vice President Joe Biden worked as a stand-in on four occasions.
They’d previously talked in June and August of 2013, and Obama welcomed him to the White House in May 2013. Back in January 2012, Obama described Erdogan as one of his best five friends among foreign leaders.
“The bottom line is that we find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues… [and] because he has two daughters that are a little older than mine — they’ve turned out very well, so I’m always interested in his perspective on raising girls,” Obama said at a March 2012 meeting in South Korea.
But that bromance briefly went into the closet after Turkey cheered on Hamas during its 2012 war against Jews in Israel.
Erdogan has only stepped up the hatred since then. Here’s a sample of Erdogan’s recent anti-Semitic, anti-woman, anti-Western campaign rhetoric.
“Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism,” Erdogan told supporters at a July 19 campaign event, during Israel’s suppression of the Hamas rocket-attacks from Gaza, according to Reuters.
Erdogan, an Islamist who believes women should play a marginal role in public life, publicly slammed one female journalist at another political rally. “A militant in the guise of a journalist, a shameless woman… Know your place!” he threatened Economist reporter Amberin Zaman. “You are writing a column in a newspaper… and you insult a society that is 99 percent Muslim,” he said, in a region where insulting Islam is a capital crime in several countries. (RELATED: Leader Obama Gets Parenting Advice From To ‘Shameless Militant Woman’ Journalist: ‘Know Your Place’)
Under Erdogan, Turkey has begun supporting the genocidal Hamas movement, usually by finding non-military projects in the Hamas-controlled district. Turkey is now one of Hamas’s “top patrons,” said Schanzer.
Those remarks follow Erdogan’s wide-ranging effort to shut down free press in Turkey, and to take control of the judiciary. In the August election, Erdogan was given more than 100 times the coverage on the state-run TV stations than was given to his two rivals.
In June 2013, Erdogan crushed protests by youths and students at a square and a park in Istanbul. The protestors were trying to stop a government-approval project to cover the park with a commercial development by one of Erdogan’s business allies.