Erdoğan and the "Al-Gaddafi Prize"
by Daniel Pipes
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The slogan of the "Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights" is "As the sun shines for everyone, freedom is a right for everyone." Lovely, no, especially at a moment when Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi's war planes are raining down death and destruction on his own subject people and when foreign mercenaries are brutalizing the population?
The prize description includes such gems as these:
Past recipients of the prize have included Nelson Mandela (1989), "The Red Indians" (1991), Louis Farrakhan (1996), Fidel Castro (1998), and Hugo Chavez (2004).
But it's the current recipient who is the most interesting: none other than the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He accepted the prize in Tripoli, Libya, on Dec. 1, 2010, for his "distinguished service to humanity." In his acceptance speech, Erdoğan said that the award will further encourage him to fight for human rights and that "Islamophobia" is a crime against humanity.
The report on this event in the pro-Erdoğan Zaman newspaper goes on:
After receiving the award, Erdoğan reported on his meeting with Qaddafi, indicating that ties between the two countries are growing.
Comment: Accepting "Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights" three months ago says all one needs to know about Erdoğan. (February 28, 2011)
Feb. 28, 2011 update: A reader sent me another article from Zaman, "PM refuses to return Gaddafi award in face of calls from civil society." An excerpt:
Plus, Joshua Keating reports that the prize is worth $250,000.
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