Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in some serious hot water over in Turkey, as recent widespread protests have been rocking the country and many critics are pegging his handling of the situation as an out-of-touch despot imposing an Islamizing agenda on the entire population and undercutting their more secular constitution. The popular opposition to Erdogan’s policies is gaining some steam… but of course, you know it’s probably just a conspiratorial plot by pro-Israel and American Jews, amirite? Er… Via the WFB:

As anti-government protests continue in Istanbul, Turkish media outlets have begun reporting that the demonstrations are part of an anti-Erdogan plot organized by members of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative think tank that is home to many former senior U.S. officials.

“Apparently, a meeting took place between some of our scholars and outsiders, and these Jews (for many, though not all, at the alleged meeting are Jews) and their fellow travelers planned the whole thing,” AEI wrote on its website Wednesday in a statement lambasting the reports.

The Turkish reports mention several former U.S. government insiders, including Bush administration national security adviser Elliott Abrams, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

The Turkish reports also claim that Jewish officials and so-called “neo-cons” associated with the American Israel Public Affairs Council (AIPAC), America’s most prominent pro-Israel lobby, are involved in the plot, which was supposedly hatched during a secret meeting in February.

Oh, good grief. Venezuela, Egypt, and now Turkey are all joining the list of countries who just recently have been blaming their own very much homespun troubles on the secret and nefarious actions of seedy U.S. interests. Heck, when you want to distract and unite your own people, just blame everything on a foreign threat to get them to hate on — and the United States is everybody’s favorite scapegoat!

And speaking of Erdogan’s range of troubles, Croatia was recently granted access into the European Union — although many were oddly less excited than they might have once been about that, ahem — but Turkey’s longstanding quest to join the EU isn’t going nearly as well, and especially not in light of recent events. The Guardian reports:

Turkey‘s chances of a breaking a three-year stalemate and relaunching its bid to join the European Union look like being dashed because of the government’s ruthless response to three weeks of street protests amid worsening friction between Ankara and Berlin.

The foreign ministry in Berlin summoned the Turkish ambassador toGermany on Friday to explain the harsh language directed at the chancellor, Angela Merkel, by Egemen Bağis, the Turkish official in charge of negotiations with the EU.

Merkel had said earlier this week that she was “appalled at the very tough” response by the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in ordering riot police to clear central Istanbul of thousands of protesters last weekend.

Bağis accused the chancellor of playing domestic politics, said that anyone using Turkey for political purposes would suffer “an inauspicious end” and warned of severe retaliation if the negotiations were called off.