Turkish Jews' Fears Intensified After Synagogue Bombings

November 16, 2003

Source: Yahoo! News


On November 16, 2003 Yahoo! News posted an Associated Press article on Turkish Jews' anxiety following the synagogue bombings: "Jews have been welcomed here by sultans and presidents, but the anxiety of being in a Muslim country has always lingered. Saturday's twin truck bombings of Istanbul synagogues, which killed 23 people and wounded more than 300, only reinforced the feelings of some Turkish Jews of being outsiders in their own country...Jews, who are mostly secular and look to their Judaism more for cultural ties than theology, refrain from wearing Jewish yarmulkes or other traditional clothing in public. 'We're living behind iron doors,' [Halim] Yesil said. 'We're not as comfortable or as free as Muslims are in this country. They have no security. We have security.' In a gated community where traditional mezuzahs grace many thresholds, homemaker Beti Ertovi said Jews have felt increasingly uncomfortable since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted party took power a year ago."