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July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘iftar’

Turkey’s Jewish Community in Edirne Hosts Public Iftar Meal

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Led by Jewish community leader Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, the Jews in the northwestern province of Edirne hosted a public Iftar meal for their neighbors last week.

The meal which breaks the daily Ramadan fast was held in order to “express appreciation for the recent restoration of the historical Edirne Synagoge by the General Directorate of Foundations,” Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported. The synagogue was reopened on March 26.

Some 700 people showed up for the meal on June 21, according to the newspaper, which quoted the chief rabbi as saying, “We thought that the most convenient way to thank people in Edirne was to share an iftar meal with them.

“We thank them all very much,” Ibrahimzadeh was quoted as saying. “We returned to Edirne and found a more beautiful home than our own.”

According to the report, “Leading figures of the country’s Jewish community personally served guests at the Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in a tent set up by the Social Solidarity Foundation.”

The head of the Edirne office of the General Directorate for Foundations, Osman Güneren, attended the event.

The Grand Synagogue of Edirne was the second-largest synagogue in Europe, built in 1907 after a massive 1905 inferno in the city destroyed 13 separate Jewish houses of worship.

Allegedly “abandoned in 1983 due to a lack of worshipers,” Hurriyet reported, The synagogue was transferred for use as a museum to the local Thrace University after its restoration by the General Directorate of Foundations. Sharp criticism from the Turkish Jewish community put a stop to that plan, however.

Nevertheless, last year Edirne Governor Dursun Ali Sahin decided to punish the local Jewish population for Israeli government measures that were necessary to stop Palestinian Authority Arab violence on the Temple Mount.

In retaliation, Sahin announced the synagogue would be turned into a museum, rather than be returned to the Jewish community for worship following its restoration.

The Edirne governor later claimed his suggestion had “no connection” to Turkish Jews and apologized for the proposal. Four months later, a government ceremony was held to herald the reopening of the synagogue for use by the Jewish community.

Erdogan Has His Ticket to Gaza Pulled by Egypt

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Due to the very close relationship between Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and ousted Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamad Morsi, the Egyptian authorities have apparently canceled a long-planned visit to Gaza by the Turkish Prime Minister.

Erdogan announced he would be visiting the Gaza Strip shortly after President Barack Obama traveled to Israel and persuaded Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to apologize for the deaths of nine Turks who were aboard the Turkish ship the Mavi Marmara which attempted to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip on May 31, 2010.

When those aboard the Mavi Marmara refused to listen to Israeli warnings and turn back, Israelis boarded the Turkish ship armed only with paint guns.  The Turks attacked the Israeli soldiers with lead pipes and other weapons and in response Israeli soldiers eventually shot and killed the aggressors.

Last week the Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Hatem Seif Al-Nasr called on Turkish Ambassador Huseyin Avni Botsali to object to his country’s stance towards recent events in Egypt.

Since the most recent uprisings in Egypt and the ouster of Morsi, the Turkish government has been extremely critical of Egypt’s activities.  Erdogan gave a speech during an iftar dinner in Ankara expressing his discontent with recent events in Egypt and criticising Defence Minister Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, blaming him for violence and political unrest.

And in a widely reported interview given on July 14, Erdogan said that Morsi was the only legitimate president of Egypt.

In addition to the current Egyptian leadership’s hostility towards Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister is also saddled with ongoing political unrest in his own country.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/erdogan-has-his-ticket-to-gaza-pulled-by-egypt/2013/08/05/

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