The Hrant Dink Foundation, a Turkish organization that seeks to promote cultural diversity, democratization, equal opportunities, cross-cultural relations, and a world free of racism for all of the peoples of Turkey, has found in a report written by its periodic Media and Hate Speech Watch that Jews are the number one target of hate speech in the Turkish media, followed by Armenians, Christians and Greeks. The Hrant Dink Foundation reached this conclusion after surveying 16 Turkish newspapers between September and December 2012. The report asserted that there were 39 instances of hate speech targeting the Jewish people accounting for 25 percent of hateful articles during that time. Yeni Akit, Milli Gazete and Yeni Mesaj featured the most hate speech content out of all of the Turkish dailies, while in the local media, Istanbul, Gölcük Postası, and Yozgat Hakimiyet used hate speech the most.
The Hrant Dink Foundation was named in honor of the slain Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, who was murdered for his work promoting minority and human rights within Turkey, Armenian-Turkish reconciliation, and for being critical of the fact that Turkey claims that the Armenian massacres that occurred within the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1918 weren’t genocide. During his lifetime, Hrant Dank was prosecuted three times for denigrating Turkishness under Turkey’s controversial Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which frequently targets critics of Turkish policy towards Armenians and Kurds.
According to the Hrant Dink Foundation, Hrant Dink dreamed of a Turkey and a world “that is more free, more just, more happy, more hopeful for everyone; a Turkey and a world, that is free from discrimination, racism and violence; a Turkey and a world where we listen to each other, share one another’s pain and grief, and work toward preventing new pain; a Turkey and a world where we can be different without being turned into “the other” and remain as one with our differences; a Turkey and a world, where everyone feels like a human being.”
Around the period of time that this report was published, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan declared in a speech given at the United Nations that Zionism, alongside antisemitism, fascism, and Islamophobia, are “crimes against humanity.” Relations between Israel and Turkey have gotten significantly worse ever since the AKP came to power, whose leader has possessed anti-semitic views since he started his career, although Turkish-Israeli relations have reached an all-time low since the Mavi Marmara Affair in 2010, when Israeli soldiers boarded a Turkish boat that sought to break Israel’s siege on Gaza and thus endangered Israel’s national security. Nine Turkish activists were killed after violently responding to IDF soldiers boarding the ship. The deterioration in Turkish-Israeli relations has adversely affected Turkish-Jewish relations as well.