September 24th, 2011
08:21 AM ET

Turkey PM Erdogan says Israel "shows no mercy"

On GPS this Sunday at 10a.m. ET/PT, we've got a blockbuster U.N. General Assembly show for you with must-see conversations with three key global players. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the most transformational Turkish leader since Kemal Ataturk, and he’s fast becoming the region’s great powerbroker, straddling East & West. Also on the show, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso tells us how he plans to fix the euro. And, finally, a look at how the Kremlin sees the world with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Erdogan on Israel

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Here's what's being said - and this is upsetting to hear. They say that Palestine is bombing and disturbing the people of Israel and many Israelis have been killed. I'm very clear in my remarks; I would like to see accurate statistics of how many Israelis have been killed by the bombs thrown by Palestinians or with the rockets that were launched by them. 10, 20, 100, 200? How many? Please document it. Let us know.

But on the other hand, we know that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were killed. Only as a result of the Gaza attack, thousands of people were killed. These are very clear remarks.

The Israeli people are only resorting back to the issue of genocide in history. And using that genocide, they are always acting as if they are the victims all the time. We said, for that, go ask Germany to pay its dues and they have. So Germany has paid and is still paying its dues to Israel.

But neither Turkey nor the Muslims in the region have such a problem. They have never exerted such cruelty on Israel. But Israel is very cruel in that regard. It shows no mercy.

Erdogan on shifting alliances

Fareed Zakaria: The question, though, that many people have is, are you taking Turkey down a different path than it's been on since the time of Ataturk? Are you taking it on a foreign policy that will be not pro-Western anymore, that does not see its historical destiny with the West, that is more Islamic, that is more populist? When you go to Cairo now, you have become a rock star. There are big photographs and posters of you because of your embrace of the Palestinian position. Is this a new populist Islamist Turkish foreign policy?

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Mr. Zakaria, I'm not a rock star, I'm a politician. But I can say very clearly that, look, everything that the Western world does is not necessarily right. We work on adopting the science of the West. We work on adopting whatever has been developed and whatever is beautiful in the West. But let's not forget, there are really beautiful things in the East, as well. Do not leave the Eastern parts of the world aside.

We are always running after science, after intellect. We seek out knowledge from whichever part of the world that is most advanced. Then we extract and adopt it.

Erdogan on President Obama

Fareed Zakaria: You've had a lot of dealings with President Obama. How does he strike you as a leader on the world stage?

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Personally, Barack Obama is someone I really like. And vis-a-vis his policies and his implementations, I want him to be much more successful. When he assumed the office, there was a huge economic difficulty on his shoulders. Had he surmounted those economic difficulties, he would have been much more relieved today.

And at that point, in the general elections that are going to be held in about 400 days, I wish him the best of luck, because I've had the chance to get to know him better, one way or the other. Whether it be our mutual and bilateral talks, whether it be our talks on the phone many times, we're very frequent, actually, even more frequent than we've ever been before.

From a strategic partnership to a model partnership, Turkey and the United States have taken relations to a much higher level. I don't know who the Republican candidates will be, but, of course, we shall always respect the choices of the American people, because the relations between America and Turkey, whether the Democrats or the Republicans have been in office, have always been very positive.

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Topics: Foreign Policy • GPS Show • Israel • Turkey

soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. rob

    the more i think about it the more upset i get.
    you let a guy who has no notion on democracy, teaching you about the way democratic regimes should be run..
    this guy is no different from asad, he has no respect for democracy, he would do the same in turkey if given a chance..
    talks not like a poilitician , but a like a bully...
    its very unfortunate that you gave him face time...

    September 25, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Reply
    • Arman

      And who has a notion of democracy, America, where we rob citizens and put them in debt, to fund corporatocracy and fascism, while letting rich bankers get away with murder? Or Israel...no comment, so as not to offend – but clearly not a model democracy.

      September 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  2. MOSHE PRIGAN

    ERDOGAN IS TELLING LIES. HE LOVES TELLING LIES. AN ARROGANT AND IGNORANT REGARDING ISRAELI -PALESTINIAN CONFLICT. DOES HE HAS MERCY ON THE KURDISH CITIZENS IN TURKEY? HE HIMSELF IS A MASS MURDERER: HE BOMBED KURDISH VILLAGES IN IRAQ, IN A FOREIGN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY. HE SHOULD STAND TO TRIAL IN HAGUE FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.

    September 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Reply
    • Arman

      Whatever crimes he may be associated with (I cannot confirm) should not justify US-Israeli (or ANY) crimes against Palestinians (or ANYONE) and the world at large. Tyranny cannot and does not (EVER) last forever; every individual and country will have to deal with the karma of their own actions. If people really understood this, we might control our aggressive instincts and act with a bit more civility!

      September 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  3. Joseph avron

    Fareed is a vey weak interviewer. He could learn a lot by watching Hard Talk in the BBC. He does not seem to be aware of facts and by never confronting Erdogan, even when he was telling half truths, gave him a free license and precious prime time to propagate cheap and one sided propaganda. Anything goes.

    September 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  4. Ali

    Mr Erdogan should stop killing the Kurdish children before defending Palestinians. Over a dozen Kurdish kids age between 7-16 were killed last year by the Turkish police.

    September 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  5. H. V. Savitch

    Erdogwan presumes to lecture Israel and the world about democracy and decency, yet never mentions the many thousands who have died at Turkis hands in Kurdistan. Nor does he or Zakaria mention the recent attacks on Kurdistan by Tukish planes and artillery. Erdogan claims that nobody knows the number of Israeli deaths as a result of Arab attacks. He provocatively asks, "How many Israelie were killed by Palestinian bombs, 10, 20, 100, 200?. The answer is well publicized and is over 1,000 for just the period between 2002 and 2004. Erdogan also claims that "Muslims were never crued to Israel." Well, look again Mr. Erdogan at the Hebron massacre of Jews and at the mass murder of nearly 100 doctors and nurses from Haddash hospital prior to 1948. We need not even go into the thousands of Israeli lives lost because of Arab aggression in 1948, 1967 and 1973. Finally, Mr. Erogan says Israel attacked Gaza, without ever mentioning the thounsands of rockets rained upon Israel which set off Operation Cast Lead. We should not expect much from this demogogue, but Fareed Zakaria merits higher standards. Yet Zakaria remined mum, nodding and continuing to solicit Erdogan's outrageous comments. That Zakaria did not utter a word of correction, diminsihes his stature as a journalist and sullies any professioonal or moral authority he might have had. HVS

    September 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  6. Ram F Das

    A very open and frank interview indeed. Its important to look at the issues fairly, objectively and try solving them. No point debating or fighting on archaeological points. Do we live to correct the history or try change the future so the world is a better place to live?

    September 26, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
  7. Dovid K

    Erdogan charges Israel with genocide and the only response from the CNN reporter responds, "The question, though, that many people have is, are you taking Turkey down a different path than it's been on since the time of Ataturk?" Bury the rag deep in your face – now is the time for your tears.

    September 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  8. European

    Turkey's hands are still dripping with the blood of the millions of Greeks and Armenians that they massacred and of the Kurds they are currently slaughtering. There are more journalists in Turkish prisons at this point in time than there are in China. And yet Erdogan presumes to give lessons of Democracy to others? I would suggest he and the AKP abandon their Islamist / Neo-Ottoman agenda which has brought Turkey to loggerheads with every single one of its neighbours, scale down their warmongering rhetoric, withdraw their battleships from other peoples territory, try applying some democracy at home and then preach to others. If Turkey continues on its current path, I am afraid it will be in for some very nasty surprises. I only hope the Turkish people does not suffer too much before it revolts against these dangerous sabre-rattlers.

    September 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  9. Ella

    This a really good web site about , so-called Armenian genocide.http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/ozan.htm

    September 26, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  10. tracy

    FINALLY, a head of a major state who is willing to tell the TRUTH about the genocidal Monster that is Israel today. All you have to do is look at the simple statistics to see that Israel is a brutal oppressor. For more details, see IfAmericansKnew.com

    September 27, 2011 at 12:09 am | Reply
  11. Chris

    Amazing that all freedom Of expression become antisemitism when it come To uncover Israel colonization. Fareed ,should invite More dissident voices......Israel is digging own grave, remember no common enemy or friend only common interest....sooner or later US will come to realize that Israel is too costly be associate with...Then what Israel will do....

    September 27, 2011 at 12:30 am | Reply
  12. mikeetg

    His blatant lies are laughable. He claims Israel has killed hundereds of thousands, sheer nonsense. They themseleves do not claim that as it is ridiculous. Turkey has killed more Kurds than Israel has in 6 wars combined and made millions of refugees. Palestine did not exist prior to the British mandate. It was part of the Turkish occupying power in the Holy land.

    September 27, 2011 at 4:03 am | Reply
  13. zz

    i think the interview was one sided and not balance u never asked about the Kurds how many thousands he killed when he mention that Israel killed hundreds of thousands that it is not through also there is more Kurds in turkey than Palestinian in the west bank how come he doesn't give them an independent state

    September 27, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  14. Enrique

    Dear Mr. Zakaria:
    You don't confront lies when the liar is Muslim (hundreds of thousands Palestinians killed by Israel), yet you label PM Netaniahu intransigent when he is willing to negotiate but the Palestinians refuse to even meet him.
    That means that you hold the Jews (Israel) to an impossible higher standard than your fellow Muslims, and holding the Jews to a higher moral standard is antisemitic.
    Either you have lost credibility or you were a closet antisemite all this time.
    In either case, shame on you and Turkey's PM.
    I'll never watch your program again, as it has become hateful and neither informative nor instructive.

    September 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      Why always being call anti-Semite when disagreeing with Israel policy! Don't forget Arab are semitics and after 1492 only country to welcome Jews to be known as sepharadic were arabics muslims from north africa and Turkey, so please stop playing that card and accept the factual reality: don't still my house and ask me if I want to share it with you....Jews and Muslims don't have any hate to share but extremism on both side should be repudiated, tears of Jew mother
      are not sweeter than the palestinians one.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:38 am | Reply
      • Enrique

        You don't address anything I say.
        I hope you're not supporting lies.
        Antisemitism is strictly anti-Jewish (that is accepted usage), so any gentile, Arab (Semitic) can be antisemitic, and Jews can also be antisemitic.
        I'm calling antisemitism not a disagreement with Israel, but holding the Jews to a higher moral standard is antisemitic.

        September 28, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  15. translation error

    Please refer to 2nd Paragraph on the section Erdogan on Isral:

    In the translation of Prime Minister Erdogan's speech, it is said "But on the other hand, we know that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were killed. Only as a result of the Gaza attack, thousands of people were killed"

    What Prime Minister is saying in Turkish should be translated as follows:
    On the other hand, we know that hundreds of, thousands of Palestinians were killed. Only as a result of the Gaza attack, thousands of people were killed.

    This mistake should be corrected by CNN with an apology.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:39 am | Reply
    • Enrique

      PM Erdogan still claims that hundreds of, thousands of Palestinians were killed, and that remains a lie, even if your correction is appropriate.
      Nobody should bear false testimony.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Enrique

      You can't have both:
      a. "hundreds of Palestinians were killed"
      b. "thousands of Palestinians were killed"
      In other words, one of these statements (a or b) is a lie.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
  16. Ahmet_Johnson

    ERDOGAN SAID: “Yüzlerce, binlerce, on binlerce Filistinli öldürüldü” THAT MEANS: "Hundred´s, Thousand´s and ten-thousand´s of Palestinians were killed"

    SO CNN – APOLOGY AND EVERYTHING IS FINE. IF YOU NEED A NEW TURKISH TRANSLATOR LET ME KNOW- I WORK CHEAPER THAN A SLAVE

    September 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
    • Enrique

      Is anything CNN's translator got right?
      If not, can you please tell us what PM Erdogan actually said, as CNN has lost credibility?

      September 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
      • translation error

        PM Erdogan said in Turkish "yuzlerce, binlerce, onbinlerce Filistinli olduruldu". This means that the hundreds of, thousands of, ten thousands of Palestinians were killed.

        September 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Enrique

      I can only find the erroneous English translated transcription.
      Can you listen to the interview and transcribe in the original, so we can get Google to translate, as it does a better job than humans.
      I'm interested in knowing the truth, unlike Mr. Zakaria or CNN.
      Also, thank you for alerting us as to the faulty translation.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • Enrique

      Please understand my genuine concern:
      Turkey seems to have nuclear missiles, half of them under its control.
      PM Erdogan is intent on an irresponsible policy of brinkmanship with Israel.
      Since Israel has second strike nuclear capacity, UN and NATO should take those missiles away.
      In any case, those missiles are superfluous since the end of the cold war, and the US has nuclear submarines that can launch from anywhere in the world.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  17. Arie Genel

    What a translation say for CNN. Will you withhold information AWARE? Why do you translate hundreds of thousands while Erdogan tens, hundreds, thousands have said? Is this a plan by Israeli CNN? People who do not understand Turkish-believing something without asking, on CNN and CNN knowingly false news ... So on, like hearing ...

    September 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  18. Enrique

    Google translates:
    "Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed"
    I'll see if I can get a transcription of the whole interview and have Google translate.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  19. Okkes Peksoy

    There is a tranlation mistake, a huge mistake. You translated like this:
    " “On the other hand, we know that HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PALESTINIANS WERE KILLED. Only as a result of the Gaza attack thousands of people were killed,”

    It is clear from the Turkish transcript of the interview provided by the Anatolia news agency that Erdoğan said HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PALESTINIANS WERE KILLED by Israelis.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  20. Okkes Peksoy

    YOU CAN FIND AN ARTICLE ABOUT THIS HERE http://www.todayszaman.com/news-258290-erdogans-mistranslated-remarks-outrage-israel.html

    September 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  21. Chris

    Thousand or hundred of...where the sens of decency. Jews and muslims can live together and did but no one was between.....Andalousia, fatimids! Just stop useless bashing and Erdogan do have the rights to express as much as anyother politician...for one Muslim interview you do have hundred or ten thousand Zionist interviews. Thank you Fareed.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • Enrique

      Judging from your posts, you are semi-literate, so I'll be gentle with you:
      Thank you Fareed for what? Please be specific.
      Nobody denies PM Erdogan his right of speech or expression, so why do you imply that (it's called lying)?
      In fact, the more he speaks, the more he unveils his dishonesty and hipocrisy, as well as his low mental capacity (he can barely make a coherent statement), so please, let him speak day and night.
      The Zionists say publicly and consistently that Jews can live in peace with Muslims, so by implying the opposite you are lying again.
      It is the Hamas terrorists in Gaza and elsewhere that say the opposite (apparently you are ignorant of these facts also).
      You use the word Zionists in a negative way, like the Nazis used the word Jews, and that is hateful.
      Were you born a bigot or did your parents teach you bigotry?
      You say "for one Muslim interview you do have hundred or ten thousand Zionist interviews."
      That is not true, but I'll give you the opportunity to prove it. Otherwise, that is another of your lies.
      What do you expect to accomplish by lying

      September 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Reply
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