Tag Archives: jewish

Behaviour of the Turkish government towards its Jewish citizens during the Holocaust

Interview with Corry Guttstadt Turkey, the Jews and the Holocaust.

Turkologist Corry Guttstadt has published a comprehensive study of the behaviour of the Turkish government towards its Jewish citizens during the Holocaust. In doing so, she has investigated a chapter of twentieth-century history that has thus far been all but neglected by international Holocaust research. Sonja Galler spoke to her about her findings

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Much is made of the fact that there are approximately 20,000 Jews in Turkey today, a figure that is frequently held up as evidence of the country’s tolerant attitude towards its Jewish minority. It is often claimed that this success story began when persecuted Sephardic Jews found refuge in the Ottoman Empire, the forerunner of the modern Turkish state …

Corry Guttstadt: Well, there are currently over 20,000 Jews in Iran too. A number alone is not necessarily a reliable indication of whether somewhere is safe or free from anti-Semitism. As far as Turkey is concerned, it is important to emphasise that only 20,000 Jews now live in the country. That’s in stark contrast to the estimated 120,000 to 150,000 that lived in the region at the end of the First World War. Both before and after the Second World War, and most particularly after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the vast majority of Jews left Turkey. This was a reversal of the trend of previous centuries.

Over the course of many centuries, the Ottoman Empire was an immigration destination for Jews fleeing the Reconquista in Spain and pogroms in Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, to portray the Ottoman Empire as a “multicultural paradise” is absurd and ahistorical. As non-Muslims, the Jews were subject to countless constraints. Like the Christians, they had to pay a poll tax and were obliged to behave in a submissive manner towards Muslims. Moreover, it must be said that there were numerous fluctuations in the fortunes of the Jews in the 600-year history of the Ottoman Empire.

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Filed under genocide, Israel, turkey

Jewish pogrom in Sumgait ?

According to the Israeli site http://izrus.co.il/diasporaIL/news/2009-02-09/10436.html, in some areas of Sumgait (Azerbaijan) were several cases of robbery at an apartment owned by Jewish families.  According to preliminary data  about 12 people were affected who were taken to a hospital ambulance with injuries of varying degrees of severity, including knife wounds. 
Presumably, this outbreak of violence, most likely linked to recent events in Gaza.


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Filed under azerbaijan, islam, Israel

Armenia and Antisemitism-2

Rimma Varzhapetyan, chairwoman of the Jewish Community of Armenia, says there is no anti-Semitism in Armenia as such, however, sometimes anti-Semitic materials appear in the press and their number has grown in the recent days.

Her statement was in response to a comment last week by US Assistant Secretary of State David Kramer, that some media outlets propagandize anti-Semitism. He said “It is unacceptable to have anti-Semitism in a country with historically friendly relations with Israel and the Jewish community.”

Varzhapetyan says there are two reasons that stir Armenia anti-Semitism. One is the long-standing resentment that Israel does not recognize the Armenian Genocide. The other – and the reason for more recent hate-talk – is the exploitation of the heritage of the wife of Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who comes from Jewish ancestry.

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Filed under armenia, armenian elections, Israel, opposition, Protests, Ter-Petrossian, Ter-Petrosyan

Anti-Semitism in Azerbaijan-Part 1

Zerkalo, Baku

Jewish organizations in Azerbaijan have received unsigned letters that threaten to avenge the death of Hamas leader Shaykh Ahmad Yasin, Azerbaijani daily Zerkalo has reported. Analysing the recent attacks in member countries of the US-led coalition and nuclear cooperation between Iran and Russia, the daily suggested that these threats could be part of “a bigger policy” regarding US plans against Iran. The following is an excerpt from A. Rasidoglu’s report by Azerbaijani newspaper Zerkalo on 3 April headlined “Baku may become a target for terrorists” and subheaded “A number of Jewish organizations have received a message from terrorists that next Sunday will become bloody”:

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Filed under azerbaijan, world