Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Even Jewish funerals guarded in Turkey

 Antisemitism is reaching fever pitch in Turkey, where even Jewish funerals need security. Hurriyet columnist Burak Bekdil writes for the Gatestone Institute (with thanks: Eliyahu):

 The motive for murder of the Jewish couple Georgia and Jak Karako was criminal, but mourners at their funeral needed security
If you are a Jew in Turkey not even a funeral is peaceful.
Just imagine a Turkish Jew having a legal dispute with a Muslim Turk and facing this judge in the courtroom...
As usual, apparently Muslims are allowed to kill Muslims as they like, only Jews are not.
Nearly three years ago, the Israeli news site published an opinion piece written by a Turkish-Jewish girl. She wrote: "…I have never had the need to discuss my Jewish identity, let alone my Israeli identity… We are a Jewish family with a connection to Israel, and as fit for a Turkish family we enjoy... freedom of religious rituals and worship. Holidays and vacations, Jewish schools, synagogues, and Jewish after-school clubs, all out in the open, and with no reason to fear… (Nov. 17, 2011)"

Just when I suspected that the author must be describing a Turkey other than the one I lived in, her final line confirmed that it was the same Turkey: "Despite my love for Turkey, I have chosen to remain anonymous, in case, well, you know..." Well, I knew...

Last month, Georgia and Jak Karako, a prominent, affluent Jewish couple, were found stabbed to death in their apartment in Istanbul's upscale Ortakoy neighbourhood, amid President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan's thundering speeches that, "Israel was worse than Hitler," and regular attacks on Israel's diplomatic missions in Ankara and Istanbul, including rocks thrown at -- and hundreds of angry Turks trying to break into -- the diplomatic compounds. The mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, was quoted as saying: "We will conquer the consulate of the despicable murderers."

Unfortunately, the Jewish couple had already been slain. But fortunately, this was not a crime motivated by anti-Semitism. The police quickly caught the suspects, an Uzbek couple who worked for the Karakos. They confessed to the killing. It was a simple criminal act like hundreds of others committed in Turkey everyday.
All the same, the poor couple's funeral service at the Ulus Askenazi Jewish cemetery was revealing. In fear of an attack, tight security scanned every guest. If you are a Jew in Turkey, not even funeral is peaceful.

Read article in full

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