Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hundreds of young Jews leave Turkey

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.

Nesim 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 country.

"Look 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.

Güveniş 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.

Read article in full

Hurriyet Daily News


Anonymous said...

Of course they are better in Israel!!!That is one of my lasting regrets not to be with the Israelis. Why ? because after all the horrors of Nazism some parties are ready to attack not only Jews but other ethnic groups as well. Look at Greece with its far right who salute with the Nazi salute, and they are not the only ones.

Anonymous said...

With Erdogan + co running Turkey, it's amazing there are any Jews left in the country.