Among the arsonists fanning the flames of the Israel-Hamas conflict that is about to devour the Middle East and perhaps the world, Recep Tayyip Erdogan occupies a major place. President of a large Muslim nation, a member of NATO and calling for its integration into the European area, he has issued a resounding and sinister proclamation. On 26 October, three days before the centenary of the Republic founded by Atatürk, Erdogan declared before his country’s parliament: “Hamas is not a terrorist group, it is a group of liberators protecting their land!
Cheered on by MPs chanting “Down with Israel!” and “Allah Akhbar!”, the Turkish head of state made a vibrant declaration of love to the exterminating commandos. On 7 October, they stormed into Israeli territory to slit the throats, rape, burn and mutilate infants, teenagers, women young and old, and every living thing in their barbaric path. Of the 1,400 massacred – 35 of them French – many victims could not be identified because the torturers so relentlessly disfigured them. Those tortured at Kibbutz Be’eri, Kfar Aza, Nir Oz, and at the “rave party for peace” organised by idealistic Israeli and international youth in the dunes of Re’im, four kilometres from the border with Gaza, died in tortures reminiscent of the atrocities of ISIS and those of the Shoah. Added to this horror is the mass taking of hostages. At the time of writing, there were 229 hostages of more than twenty-two nationalities, including around thirty young children and elderly people.
Erdogan welcomes this apocalypse. He is therefore delighted to subscribe to the Hamas credo: “We love death as much as the Jews love life”. Erdogan loves death and calls for it in a burning Islamic world. And yet Erdogan has resumed his relations with the Jewish state, which have never really been dissolved behind the scenes, given that Turkey, ruined by the Islamist autocrat, needs a little economic breathing space. Israeli diplomacy, which before the genocidal attack on 7 October was naively counting on allies in the Muslim world, will have to think again. Nothing will ever be the same again.
Against this backdrop of horror, one certainty is emerging: despite his perpetual double game (with Europe, with Israel, with Russia, with Iran) Erdogan has not changed. His DNA is, in this case, strictly in line with the DNA of Hamas. The useful idiots of Islamo-leftism – those accomplices of the abjection that murdered Charlie-Hebdo, the Bataclan, Samuel Paty, Dominique Bernard and Kfar Aza – invoked the pseudo-amendment of the Hamas charter. Alas, we have seen. They were lying just as much when they lauded the Ottoman sultan of pseudo-moderate Islamism. Having written a book ten years ago entitled “L’imposture turque” (Grasset), devoted to the ideological system in which the master of the Bosphorus and Anatolia was trapping his country, I am convinced that the Erdogan imposture continues. Like all tyrants, he thrives on chaos. Very early in his life, he hammered home the message: “Minarets are our bayonets, domes our helmets, mosques our barracks, believers our soldiers”. Much later in his life, when he had turned beautiful Turkey upside down by locking up its great minds, its journalists, its teachers, its Kurdish poets, by condemning the flower of Istanbul’s youth to exile or fear, Erdogan seized the bloody sabre of the Hamas terrorists and blessed it. “Allah Akbar!” in the name of all failed causes. “Allah Akbar!” For secretly arming the ISIS militias in 2015, when it was about to join the coalition against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Can Dündar, editor of the secular daily Cumhuriyet, was thrown into prison for revealing the role of the Turkish services, the MIT, in supplying shells and grenades to the jihadists. Released between two hearings in his trial, our colleague, winner of the Reporters Without Borders press freedom prize, escaped an attempted murder and fled abroad. “Allah Akbar!” So that, with Erdogan and his murderous brothers in Hamas, the burnt grass in the Middle East does not grow back.