Gravestones and bones from an 18th century Turkish Jewish cemetery 20 feet underground were unearthed during construction on an underground tunnel in the city of Izmi, the Hurriyet Daily News reported Wednesday.
The gravestones were left in the ground and the bones were delivered to representatives of Izmir’s Jewish community, who will rebury them in the Altındağ Jewish Cemetery, which remains open to Jewish burials, Izmir Jewish community chairman Jak Kaya told the newspaper.
The cemetery disturbed by the construction work served the Jewish community during the 19th century.
Izmir was home to about 40,000 Jews in 1868, making it the third largest Jewish community in the Ottoman Empire, after Salonika and Istanbul. but there are now only about 2,400 Jews in Izmir, according to the DiasporaMuseum in Tel Aviv, now known as Beit Hatfutsot: The Museum of the Jewish People.
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