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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

avatar by Ben Cohen

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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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  • A.Franklin

    Nip over to Israel. Leave Turkey for the Turks. No longer
    a “Delight”.

  • NCS

    Again another story of Israel defending herself with the Turkish flotilla incident and Jews are castigated for the right to protect her borders. No other country on earth would have been expected to have done otherwise. So are we surprised with Turkey’s reaction? Sadly not. There is only one country in the Middle East where Jews are celebrated and that is Israel. It’s a mistake for Turkish Jews to re-locate any where but Israel. It is the safest country in which a Jew can thrive.

  • Eric R.

    While Turkey’s record with the Jews was by no means perfect over the last 700 years, it was probably better than that of any other Islamic or European country.

    It’s sad to see that the Jewish presence will soon come to an end there, but the Turks now want Islamofascism, so let them rot in their new Islamic Dark Ages.

  • Vittore

    Somebody should tell Erdogan that he is not Suleyman the Magnificent.

  • steven L

    Ten years ago, it was suggested that the the number of Jews in Turkey was no more than 15K to 20K so much so that many Jews who wanted to get married and have children had no other choice but to marry secular Muslim spouses!
    Israel must thank Erdo the magnificent for forcing Jews to move out.

  • Fred

    What future in the Sultanate of Erdogan’s Turkey. He only has to wear a Burnuss and the part is ready. Productive Jews have no more place in a Hitlerite Turkey.

  • Have the Turkey Jews not learnt the lesson of 1930’s Germany.
    And what about the 24000 Jews held hostage in Iran that did not emigrate when they could..

  • RobiMac

    They are leaving because Elohim is calling them home to their land. I never understood why any Jew would want to live in enemy lands anyway.

  • Joe Ozer

    It is sad to say but it is probably is a good idea for Jews to leave Turkey. It’s Turkey’s loss.

  • art frank

    With the lunatic erdugun egging on the great unwashed in Turkey with his overt anti-Semitism, the few Jews that remain there (25,000) should make aliya to Israel. This would never have happened under the late Turkish leader Ataturk who was a secularist and was against the religious lunacy that erdugan endorses.

  • jim ainoris

    Ask the millions of Armenians,Kurds and Druze Turks murdered…what they think about Turkey….ps Turks are occupying lands they stole from Greece and Balkans….Turks came from Asia…after fall of Constantinople…they are a mix of mongol/arab and greeks…never to be trusted..ask a Druze Moslem.Shalom

  • Oya Bain

    I am very sorry to hear this. Turks and Jews have centuries long friendship and alliance. I am hoping this is a passing phase due to political polarization in the Middle East.
    Up to several years ago Turkey and Israel were very close in many aspects.I understand even now the trade relations are growing
    Regardless of these sad news, both in Turkey and the U.S. our friendship continues-No political misjudgements will interfere.