Mazel Tov! Tebrikkler!


Yes! Someone finally got the message!

An association of Turkish Jews in Israel has launched a campaign to better inform the Turkish public and the Turkish media about events in Israel by addressing them in their own language.

A website from the group, HASTÜRK, at, has been online since July 20 and is attempting to provide news from the Israeli press and official statements made by the Israeli government in the Turkish language.

There are 10 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive

    There you go with the sorcery again, and don’t deny it!

    I was just ruminating about this when you posted. The Jews have deep roots in Turkey. They played a vital role in the administration of the Ottoman Empire until Ataturk expelled them in the 1920’s. I’m surprised there are Israelis who still speak Turkish after 90 years. I’m guessing some Jews lingered on in Turkey even after the expulsion? Are there any active synagogues in Turkey today?

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  2. Profile Photo Contributor

    This is great news, Claire. The number one message I hope they’re getting out about the flotilla is that the Israelis invited the ships to dock at the port of Ashdod and unload their aid materials for shipment to Gaza. The flotilla’s response was to say (literally) “Go f**k yourselves”, run the blockade, and provoke an armed clash for which they had come prepared. That’s the vital datum: the Israelis invited the ships to dock at Ashdod; the ships turned down the offer.

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  3. Profile Photo Editor

    Paules, there are about 26,000 Jews in Turkey, 24,000 of them in Istanbul, and many synagogues — the Neve Shalom synagogue around the corner from my apartment was bombed by al Qaeda about five years ago. (They succeeded in killing only Moslems.) Interestingly, many of the Jews here still speak Ladino. Here are some photos

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  4. Profile Photo Inactive

    Good morning, Claire and Confucius.

    First, I apologize for being rude. There is something about being talked @ rather than “to” that conveys an aggressive tone. My bellicosity was largely an emotional response. I hope both of you will accept my most profound apologies.

    Now, on to the research. I’ve consulted everything in my library from Toynbee (1927) to Price (1956) to Shaw (1976) regarding the Jews in Turkish history. In short, everything I have agrees that the Greeks were sent packing during a population exchange following the Greco-Turkish War (very civilized, I might add), the Armenians were scattered in a diaspora (Price offers an exegesis from the Turkish perspective), the Arabs were divorced, and the Kurds internally dispersed. Not one author mentions the fate of the Jews. It was my error to include the Jews among the minority groups suffering persecution following the establishment of the Turkish Republic. I stand corrected. More . . .

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  5. Profile Photo Inactive

    Another thing is clear from the histories. The Ottoman Empire from at least 1492 was a refuge for Jews fleeing persecution in Europe. It does not surprise me that the Jewish Turkish community speaks Ladino. Shaw states that the Ashkenazim from northern and eastern Europe also found refuge in Turkey during various pogroms. All authors agree that the Jews had considerable influence in Ottoman Turkey despite their small numbers. I have one reference that indicates the Jews even married into the family of the Turkish sultan.

    So, the Jewish community still exists in Turkey. That’s encouraging news because it provides a link between Israel and Turkey. The Ottomans were tolerant of minority Jews and Christians, a tradition that apparently still lingers in modern Turkey. It might also explain in part why Turkey has been an ally of Israel, though I’m not clear on how much antipathy remains amongst average Turks toward the Arab peoples (if there is any today), or how it plays into Turkish statecraft.

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  6. Profile Photo Inactive

    İyi şanslar, arkadaşlar.


    There was no expulsion of Jews under Atatürk, who was famously philo-Semitic. In fact, there is a persistent (and completely unfounded) rumor in certain unpleasant circles in Turkey that Atatürk was actually a dönme, that is, a descendant of the Jews who converted as followers of Sabbatai Zevi, and that the Republic is actually a dönme conspiracy.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Inactive

    @ Confucius

    Based on your statement I will have to do further research. My pedestrian understanding of the history informs me that the Jews, Armenians, and Greeks were expelled from Turkey following the establishment of the Turkish Republic. I’m always willing to admit I’m wrong based on the evidence. Your sand face, however, does not inspire me with confidence that you are anything more than a nut. Show your face, man, if you be a man.

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  8. Profile Photo Editor

    Confucius, the Œcumenical Volgi, is not only not a nut, but one of my dear friends, a brilliant scholar of the Ottoman Empire, and the smartest man in the world. Whatever he says, you can take it to the bank: He is never wrong. Never.

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  9. Profile Photo Editor

    Oh, and he’s right about this, as he is about everything.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Inactive

    Then I shall research it.

    • #10
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