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December 26, 2014 11:29 am

Poll Shows Number of Jewish Youths Wanting to Leave Turkey Due to Anti-Semitism Has Doubled

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A sign stating "This Location To Be Demolished" at the entrance to the Neveh Shalom synagogue, Istanbul, November 2014. Photo: MEMRI

The warning from a leading figure in Turkey’s Jewish community that anti-Semitism is driving the community’s youth to seek a new life outside the country has been provisionally confirmed in statistics gathered by a leading Middle East politics website.

“According to statistics of a community high school we were asked not to name, compared with previous years, the number of Jewish youths wanting to leave Turkey has doubled. In 2012 of 99 students at the community school, 23 wanted to go abroad; in 2013, 18 out of 96; and in 2014, 40 out of 108,” Al-Monitor reported.

As The Algemeiner reported on December 16, Moise Gabay, a leading Jewish businessman, asserted, in an article published in the Istanbul-based Jewish newspaper Åžalom, that “We face threats, attacks and harassment every day. Hope is fading.”

Gabay continued: “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 wrote, in a reference to the murder of Hrant Dink, a prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist, by a teenage nationalist in 2007.

Observed Al-Monitor:  “Since the killings of nine Turkish citizens by Israeli military personnel in the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla affair, anti-Semitic actions and speech have become a permanent feature in Turkey. Such sentiments peak whenever there is an incident involving Israel.” Al-Monitor also reported that Islamist media organizations responded to Gabay’s piece with blatantly anti-Semitic headlines, among them, “Super news from Jews: they are leaving Turkey.”

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