It may be harder to fill the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul in years to come. This photo was taken in 2003.
Hundreds of young Jews are leaving Turkey for the U.S. and Europe
because of increased perceptions of anti-Semitism and Ankara's tensions
with Israel, a senior member of the immigrant community in Israel has
told Hurriyet Daily News.
Güveniş, the deputy chairman of the Association of Turkish Jews in
Israel, told the newspaper that the mass exodus was a response to the
actions of the Turkish government, including remarks of leaders against
Jews for the waning relations between Turkey and Israel and the
worsening of conditions for the nearly 15,000 Jews living in in the
at the environment of Turkey at the moment. We are uncomfortable with
being 'othered'… I am more Turkish than many. But we couldn't make them
believe it," Güveniş described, according to Hurriyet.
himself immigrated to Israel in 1981 because of the political tension
in Turkey during the 1970s and the effect it was having on his children.
"They didn't want to go to university where leftists or other groups
were putting pressure on them to take sides at school… The first two
years in Israel were difficult, and we had to learn the language. But I
don’t regret it," he explained to the Turkish paper.
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Hurriyet Daily News