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Turkey’s Erdogan at U.N. forum: Zionism is crime against humanity

(JTA) — Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at a U.N. meeting called Zionism a crime against humanity.

Speaking Wednesday in Vienna at a United Nations summit for tolerance, Erdogan said, “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,” Anatolia News Agency and other Turkish media reported.

UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group, called on Erdogan to apologize for his “shocking” statements and urged U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to condemn the speech publicly. UN Watch said Ban was on stage while Erdogan was speaking.

Earlier in the week, a report on xenophobia in the Turkish media said Jews and Armenians had the most hateful writings against them of any group in Turkey.

The report by the Hrant Dink Foundation, a human rights watchdog, is based on material that appeared in 16 national circulation newspapers and another 1,000 local publications between last September and December, according to an article about the report that appeared Thursday in Hurriyet, a Turkish daily. 

The researchers found 39 instances of anti-Jewish writings in Turkish newspapers during the period, which accounted for 25 percent of the total of hateful articles. The levels were slightly lower for Armenians. The third most targeted group was Christians with 18 percent.

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