Turkey has in the last few weeks sought to use media connections abroad to push narratives about how it wants reconciliation with Israel, even as its own media pushes extremist anti-Israel comments. One commentator, according to T24 Turkish media, said that Turkey could “enter Tel Aviv in 48 hours.” He claimed, “we are not like the Arabs,” an apparent reference to the inability of Arab armies to defeat Israel in 1948 and 1967.
The commentary on Turkish television was not abnormal. Hatred of Israel and vows to destroy Israel, invade Jerusalem, “liberate Al-Aqsa” and spread extreme nationalist, anti-Zionist or antisemitic comments have become increasingly normal in Turkey. Most journalists who are critical of the ruling party in Turkey have been silenced, forced to flee the country or imprisoned. Turkey is considered the largest jailor of journalists in the world under the AK Party.
In March 2018, a Turkish daily also suggested that Turkey should form an Islamist army to destroy Israel. In 2019, according to MEMRI, a retired Turkish general named Adnan Tanriverdi who heads the SADAT consulting firm also spoke about the need to liberate Jerusalem from Israel. “The Islamic world should prepare an army for Palestine from outside Palestine. Israel should know that if it bombs [Palestine] a bomb will fall on Tel Aviv as well.”
Read More: Jerusalem Post