The Turkish summer camp where children are taught to shout ‘death to Jews’

Politician calls for government probe after footage of young girls being encouraged to hate generates outrage in Turkey


A Turkish MP has demanded an explanation from ministers after a woman was filmed apparently encouraging children in a summer camp troop to chant “death to Jews”.

The video footage, which went viral on social media in Turkey last week, showed her prompting an audience of young girls by shouting the word yahudiye — Turkish for “to the Jew”.

The children are then shown raising their fists in response and shouting “death”.

The group — which is seated in a forest setting — is also prompted to shout “Palestine will be set free”.

The video has been viewed nearly 400,000 times since it first appeared on Twitter on July 31. Turkish media reports said no one has been charged in relation to its content.

Hate crimes became a criminal offence in Turkey after being added to the country’s penal code in 2014. 

It is not clear where or when the footage was filmed, but the chants closely resemble a rallying cry routinely used by the Aczmendi, a Muslim fundamenalist cult based in eastern Turkey.

Members of the fringe sect believe Turkish troops should be use to “cleanse” Palestine of Jewish people.

The newspaper Cumhuriyet said the footage was a “scandal” while Garo Paylan, a member of Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party, said it was evidence of child abuse. 

He said the children in the footage had clearly been exploited and were being encouraged to commit a hate crime.

The politician, who is Turkey’s first MP of Armenian descent in decades, has tabled a question in Turkey’s parliament asking the interior and justice ministers to explain where the video was filmed and explain whether the authorities had taken any action.

Mar Paylan tweeted that he wanted to file a criminal report against the camp leader and the organisation she worked for.

“Hate speech opens the path to hate crimes,” he said.

The Turkish government has not publicly commented on the content of the video. The country’s Interior Ministry did not respond to the JC’s request for comment.

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