Many Turkish Jews are leaving the country after increased threats and attacks, a prominent businessman from the community has written in the Istanbul-based Jewish newspaper Şalom. What's more, Jews do not have confidence in the ability of Turkish law or civil society to protect them :(with thanks: Eliyahu)
An Edirne synagogue, now under restoration, was the centre of a controversy when the province governor said it should only ever become a museum in response to Israel's actions
“We face threats, attacks and harassment every
day. Hope is fading. Is it necessary for a ‘Hrant among us’ to be shot
in order for the government, the opposition, civil society, our
neighbors and jurists to see this?” Mois Gabay wrote on Dec. 10,
referring to the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink in 2007.
a professional in the tourism industry, added that increasing numbers
of Turkish Jews are making plans to move abroad with their families,
feeling unsafe and under pressure in the country.
percent of high school graduates from the Jewish community in Turkey
prefer to go abroad for higher education ... This number doubled this
year compared to the previous years,” he wrote.
It is not only
students, who have begun to think about building a life abroad for their
families and children, but also young businesspeople according to
“Last week, when I was talking to two of my friends on
separate occasions, the conversation turned to our search for another
country to move to. That is to say, my generation is also thinking more
about leaving this country,” he wrote.
Gabay’s column came a few
days after verbal attacks on the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul's
Beyoğlu district, which has been attacked with explosives on three
previous occasions in 1986, 1992 and 2003. A paper reading “to be
demolished” was placed on the entrance of the synagogue by an unknown
group two weeks ago. Later, the Alperen Ocakları, the youth group of the
ultranationalist Great Union Party (BBP), attempted to march to the
synagogue as a part of a protest.
In a recent interview with
Radikal, Gabay also said changes in the law and the recognition of hate
crimes in the Turkish penal code are not sufficient for the protection
of Turkey's Jewish community.
“The laws have changed. Hate
speech is now a crime, but when is a lawsuit ever opened over hate
speech against our community? I don't blame the government alone for
this. The opposition, civil society, unions and the democratic public
sphere should be a shield for us. They should monitor these incidents.
Are they waiting for the shooting of a Hrant among us?” he said, adding
that daily threats have increased due to the widespread use of social
media in Turkey.
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