A documentary recently aired on pro-government Turkish news channel A Haber has sparked a new debate about anti-Semitism in Turkey, home to approximately 17,000 Jews.
The film, called Üst Akıl (Mastermind) and also published on major pro-government newspaper websites such as Sabah, claims that Jewish people have conspired to dominate the world for 3,500 years.
Several academics, journalists, and Etyen Mahçupyan, former adviser to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, appear in the film, which is based in part on a speech given by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last December.
Mastermind opens with the speech, in which Erdoğan describes “operations” against Turkey. “Behind all these there is a mastermind,” he explains, before telling his audience “you know who it is.”
The narrator then says this mastermind, who “rules, burns, destroys, starves the world, creates wars, organizes revolutions and coups, establishes states within states, (and is) the curse of the entire world,” can be found “in Jerusalem, where the sons of Israel live,” before delving into a conspiratorial tirade of historical manipulation.
“This is pretty much the worldview in the AKP now,” says writer and political commentator Mustafa Akyol, referring to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party.