February 18, 2015 | Quote

Fear of Shiites on the Rise in Turkey

The framing of the news in Turkey also fans the flames of Shiite-phobia. The Turkish mainstream media, for instance, has been referring to almost all protests of the Arab Spring since 2011 as “revolutions,” except for those in Bahrain and Yemen. Indeed, the latest events in Yemen are labeled as a “coup,” referring to the Houthis who are Shiites as “American agents” and aberrant. The Houthis are seen as puppets of Iran and guilty of destroying Yemen.

Another example is that the allegations about the involvement of the Turkish ambassador and Turkish Airlines in arms and fighter smuggling to Yemen were simply dismissed by Turkish officials. One bureaucrat told Al-Monitor, “All of this news is Iranian propaganda.” Although the allegations may be baseless and initiated by Iranian-supported media outlets, Oren Adaki, a research analyst and Yemen expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Al-Monitor, “The Turkish government can only deny responsibility for the transfers so many times before the question arises what they are really doing to stop these weapons.”

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