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May 22, 2015 1:12 pm

Report: Turkish Mall Scraps Plans for Jewish, Christian Prayer Rooms After ‘Attacks’

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The recent ceremony at the opening of a new synagogue in Turkey. Photo: Karel Valansi.

A recently opened furniture mall in western Turkey scrapped plans to open separate prayer rooms for Jews and Christians over a series of “intolerant attacks,” Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper reported on Friday.

Haluk Ozbek, founder of the Mobiliyum AVM furniture emporium in the Inegol district about 155 miles south of Istanbul, said original plans sought to make the mall a global attraction.

“But we have been subject to ugly and incomprehensible attacks” over the inclusion of Christian and Jewish worship rooms, in addition to the mosque that was constructed.

“Mobiliyum AVM has been exposed to ugly attacks via the media as well as by action. We have decided to reverse our decision to open prayer rooms, as we have lacked support from democratic circles against these attacks,” said Ozbek, in a statement published by Hurriyet.

He also told the newspaper that the attacks were caused by a lack of tolerance.

The mall was opened May 9 and hosts about 200 Turkish furniture producing firms.

Last month, the Algemeiner reported a string of antisemitic graffiti attacks discovered in an Istanbul neighborhood. Anti-Jewish sentiment in Turkey has increased over the past several years as Turkey’s government maintains an openly hostile line against Israel.

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