Le Monde’s in-depth report titled “Face à Israël, le double visage de la Turquie”, based on an investigation by Metin Cihan, an exiled Turkish journalist, has highlighted a striking contradiction in Turkey’s approach towards Israel.
The report shows that despite President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s public denouncements of Israel and comparisons of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler, Turkey continues to engage in significant trade with Israel.
Erdoğan, who has aligned himself with the Palestinian cause and fervently criticised Israeli actions in Gaza, has likened Netanyahu to Hitler, drawing stark parallels to Nazi war crimes. “We have witnessed the massacre of values in front of our eyes. Have we not seen the Israeli’s Nazi camps in stadiums? What sort of behaviour is this?” Erdoğan asked rhetorically during an awards ceremony at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday. He further questioned, “They used to speak oddly of Hitler. What difference do you have from Hitler? Netanyahu’s actions will make us miss Hitler.”
Netanyahu responded in a post on X, “Erdogan, who is committing genocide against the Kurds and who holds the world record for imprisoning journalists who oppose his regime, is the last person who can preach morality to us.”
Cihan’s investigation, conducted over the last two months, documents a steady flow of Turkish ships to Israel, revealing ongoing economic interactions. The report indicates that 450 ships have sailed from Turkey to Israel since the onset of the strikes. This includes daily dispatches from Limak Holding, a company closely tied to Turkish political power, and shipments from significant Istanbul-based ports like Ambarli Akçansa and the Sabanci Group.
Cihan’s findings also suggest governmental involvement, with the Sefine shipyard, owned by Kolin Holding and linked to the government, implicated in servicing an oil tanker that fuels Israeli fighter jets.