(JTA) — A former Turkish government minister apologized to the country’s Jewish community for anti-Semitic comments he made at a political rally.
In a letter published in Salom, a Jewish newspaper in Turkey, former Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said that if he “unwillingly caused resentment, I express my sorrow.”
Caglayan, who resigned in December amid a corruption allegation, at the rally on Saturday was referring to the accusation when he offered the remarks for which he apologized.
“This nation is aware what kind of a mentality we are struggling with,” he said Saturday, according to Turkish reports. “I have many things to tell you. But I would understand if a Jew, an atheist, a Zoroastrian did all these things to us. Shame on them if these things are being done by those who claim to be Muslim. How could a Muslim do this?”
The Jewish community of Turkey had issued a statement slamming the remarks, the English-language daily Today’s Zaman reported.