Israeli minister calls Erdogan 'Nazi,' urges nationwide boycott of anything Turkish

World 19:12 15.01.2024

Israeli National Security Minister and leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party (Jewish Power) Itamar Ben Gvir called the Turkish authorities out for arresting Israeli football player Sagiv Yehezkel in Turkey.

The politician called President of the Republic Recep Tayyip Erdogan a "full-blown Nazi" and urged Israelis to boycott anything Turkish.

"Turkey acts toward Israeli players, and toward anything remotely Israeli, with Nazism. Erdogan is a full-blown Nazi. I urge Israelis not to travel to Turkey, not to buy any Turkish products and not to financially support them," Ben Gvir wrote on his page on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

"The State of Israel and Israeli citizens should show no leniency to Turkey. We will not let ourselves be trampled on," the minister added.


On January 14, Israeli midfielder for Turkish football club Antalyaspor Sagiv Yehezkel pointed to a bandage on his arm with "100 days. 7.10" written and the Star of David depicted on it after scoring a goal during a match between his team and Trabzonspor. The inscription referred to the 100th day since the beginning of the current round of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which escalated on October 7, 2023 after militants from the Gaza Strip-based radical Palestinian movement Hamas staged surprise incursions from Gaza into Israeli territory. After the match, the football player was arrested on charges of "publicly inciting hostility and hatred."

On January 15, the Turkish authorities decided to release Yehezkel and expel him from the country. The Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed that the football player was expected to arrive home that day. Commenting on the situation, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said that Turkey had turned into a "dark dictatorship" and called on international sports organizations to take appropriate measures against the Turkish side.

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