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May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Istanbul’

Turkish Foreign Minister Targets Jews, Warns of ‘Treason’

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Red flags are going up for Jews in Turkey again for the second time in less than a week.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu took aim at Turkish Jewry Sunday  in a thinly-disguised reference to the “Jewish lobby” on Sunday during a speech to local lawmakers, linking such a “lobby” to part of a “parallel structure” (U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen’s supporters) accused by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being in cahoots with Israeli Mossad intelligence agents.

On January 31, Erdogan had told a meeting of business leaders in Istanbul, “The sincere people backing this parallel structure should see this structure is cooperating with… Shame on them if they still cannot see that this structure is cooperating with the Mossad.” (Erdogan has accused Gulen’s followers of illegal wiretapping and a coup attempt that began with a corruption probe in December 2013. Four former ministers and their sons were investigated at the time; all were later acquitted on all charges.)

“I announce it from here: We have not and will not succumb to the Jewish lobby, the Armenian lobby or the Turkish-Greek minority’s lobbies,” Davutoglu said in his own speech on Feb. 8, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported. Speaking at a provincial congress of the ruling Justice and Development party’s (AKP) in Istanbul, Davutoglu added, “I call out to the parallel lobby and send them a message: We will stand before you with dignity no matter where you are; you will be despicable for the treason you have done to this nation.”

It’s not the first time in the past week that local Jews have been targeted by the current Turkish government.

On Feb. 6, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a snide comment about Jewish prayers while accepting an award from the Roma community in Bursa. As he started to condemn racism, Islamophobia and discrimination, Erdogan suddenly aimed at Judaism itself, specifically the Jewish morning blessings.

“I am addressing to those who talk about women’s rights. Why don’t you raise your voice against the Jews who thank G-d in their prayers that they were not created as women? Was there any other understanding, a logic as demeaning for women as this one?” he said.

The remark is a deliberate misinterpretation of one of the morning blessings recited by Jewish men and women each day, albeit with different versions for each. Jewish men do indeed thank God in one of the numerous blessings they recite in the morning that they were not created as women. The women’s version offers praise to God for being created as women (the literal translation of the prayer is, “as He desires”, in recognition of women’s different roles and responsibilities in Jewish life.)

Istanbul’s largest and most prominent synagogue, Neve Shalom, has become a virtual fortress under constant protection by Turkish security personnel. One must surrender one’s passport in order to enter the magnificent house of worship that once was filled to capacity in a former bustling Jewish neighborhood.

The synagogue was attacked several times by radical Islamic terrorists, leaving wounded, death and destruction in their wake. Turkish security is particularly selective about who is allowed to enter the synagogue; every person who attempts to do so is carefully scrutinized and required to walk through a metal detector prior to entry. The entrance itself is subtly hidden towards the back of the building, which must be accessed through a nondescript side gate.

Today the area around the synagogue is a shopping district and the lovely building with its stained glass windows and wooden seats polished to a sheen echoes with the memories of past festivities, empty but for the handful of Jews who dare to enter for prayers on High Holy Days and other important Jewish holidays.

Observant Jews who have remained in Turkey maintain a very low profile. Kosher food is not to be had in any general supermarket or local grocery store; one needs to know where to go in order to find it. There do not appear to be any local kosher supervision agencies — at least no symbols of any on foods available in public stores. Other members of the Jewish community are the descendants of those who arrived as refugees from Spain in 1492, fleeing the Inquisition, business people, and others who as tourists fell in love and married locals.

Bomb Found Near Istanbul Shopping Center

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

A homemade bomb was found placed outside an Instanbul, Turkey shopping center. Turkish police defused the bomb, according to the al-Ahram website.

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber, believed to have Jihadi links blew himself up in Istanbul.

Alleged Killers Confess to Murdering Turkish Jewish Couple

Monday, August 25th, 2014

An Uzbek couple has confessed to the murders of Jak Karako and his wife, Georgia Karako, owners of Turkey’s upscale yarn manufacturing firm Ören Bayan.

The bodies of the Turkish Jewish couple were found by Istanbul police in their apartment in the Ortaköy neighborhood on Friday.

The suspects, ages 28 and 26, were identified only by their initials in the Todays Zaman newspaper due to legal restraints. The suspects, who were caregivers working for the family, allegedly confessed to the murders under interrogation that they killed their employers in a fit of temper.

Police arrested them at their own apartment, according to the report. Both allegedly confessed that they killed the Karakos because the victims withheld wages in compensation for items the caregivers had broken in the home, and they were angry they had received no money for two months.

A judge at the Istanbul Courthouse handed down a decision to arrest them following their confession.

Turkey’s President-elect Erdogan Building PR via Israel & Gaza

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Turkey’s President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan — the country’s current prime minister — is scoring major public relations points at home via Gaza, through Israel.

Erdogan is raising millions for Gaza residents left homeless in the wake of a war on Israel started by their Hamas terrorist leaders.

The Ankara government has raised $20.8 million dollars so far to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza since the start of Operation Protective Edge, according to the Yeni Safak newspaper, which quoted Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Isler.

The country’s international development agency, TIKA, provided 15,000 Gaza families “through its permanent office in Gaza, under the ongoing heavy Israeli attacks,” Isler claimed in a written statement to the paper.

A rundown of benefits provided by the Turkish government included:

  • Daily food for more than 350,000 Palestinian Authority unity government Arabs since the beginning of Ramadan (but it was not made clear whether they were all residents of Gaza);
  • ‘Desperately-needed fuel’ for the Palestinian Energy Authority; and
  • Medicine and generators delivered by the Turkish Red Crescent.

In addition, Turkey transferred 18 wounded people to Ankara for medical treatment “as part of a plan to evacuate “thousands” from Gaza.

What was not mentioned was the pivotal role of Israel and Egypt in all of this: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was careful to first visit both nations to formally request the use of their airspace prior to sending aircraft to collect anyone from Gaza or deliver any form of aid.

As a matter of fact, Turkish aircraft have been using Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport to transfer all of the supplies and transport patients between Gaza and Ankara.

In addition, all aid deliveries to the region have been carried out with the full cooperation of the State of Israel via the land crossings into Gaza.

That, despite some rather vicious, anti-Israeli rhetoric by Turkish president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s prime minister to date, including comparing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Hitler.

Also not mentioned was the fact that the top terrorist in Hamas, Salah al-Arouri, is living safely in Turkey, far from the reach of Israel and well within range of those from whom he can raise funds to finance more attacks against the Jewish State.

Erdogan has tightened Turkey’s ties with Iran and has equated Zionism with racism, leading the country in an anti-Semitic direction that has threatened the good relations Turkish Jews have always enjoyed with their neighbors. Breitbart News this week quoted one businessman as saying that Turks now swear at Jews in the street. The site reported that “one hotel warned in response to an email message requesting to book a room that ‘for your further safety concerns it is our duty to inform you that the Palestine embassy is our next door neighbor and we do not have private security within the hotel.'”

No need for that warning: Israel has already slapped an alert against travel to Turkey by its citizens. Most — if not all — all kosher production supervisors reportedly left the country several weeks ago following riots and attacks on Israel’s embassy in Ankara and near its consulate in Istanbul, in addition to harassment by various individuals.

A statement by Erdogan pressuring Turkish Jews to issue public condemnations of Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas terrorist group — launched to silence incessant rocket fire on citizens of southern Israel — makes clear his position regardless of any future ‘business’ arrangements with the Jewish State.

Are Turkey’s Jews in Trouble?

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Are the Jews of Turkey – Israel’s former ally in the region — in danger?

On Friday, the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed alarm at the increasingly hostile environment towards Israel in Turkey that has extended itself towards that country’s Jews.

The ADL called on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reject the targeting of Turkish Jews over Israel’s counter terrorist Operation Protective Edge — launched to silence the rocket fire aimed by Hamas at Israeli civilians – and to publicly assert that the Jewish community has the full support and protection of the state.

Instead, Erdogan issued an additional condemnation of Israel the next day, telling supporters in a speech at the Black Sea resort city of Ordu, “[Israelis] have no conscience, no honor, no pride. Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism.” According to the Reuters news service, the Turkish leader repeatedly likened Israel to the Nazi murderers over the Jewish State’s current counter terrorist Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas rulers of Gaza.

But Erdogan was apparently persuaded by senior members of his Islamic AKP party to lower the heat against the Jews in his own country, if only a trifle. “I don’t approve of any [bad} attitude towards our Jewish citizens in Turkey despite all this. Why? They are the citizens of this country,” he said.

Approximately 17,000 Jews remain in the country. But the rising anti-Semitism combined with increasing difficulty for young Jews in finding a spouse is prompting families to emigrate at a much faster rate than they have in past years. Istanbul’s Sephardic synagogue, the magnificent Neve Shalom, has been attacked by Palestinian Arab terrorists three times since 1986 — most recently in 2003.

Neve Shalom Synagogue of Istanbul, June 2013.

Neve Shalom Synagogue of Istanbul, June 2013.

As recently as June 2013, in order to enter the building, a visitor had find the small nonedescript entrance alley off to the side, then surrender one’s passport, walk through a metal detector and undergo a search carried out by grim Turkish security personnel. Some visitors were not allowed in anyway, depending upon the whim of the security guards.

APC

Street view of Neve Shalom synagogue, Istanbul, June 2013.

Street view of Neve Shalom synagogue, Istanbul, June 2013.

The Sephardic Jewish Center was also well hidden, away on a side street in the center of Istanbul in a posh neighborhood filled with upscale restaurants. One would not know it was there, unless you knew what to look for. Even then, the entrance is hidden.

To find it, one enters a building and is greeting immediately by a friendly security man at the door who asks your business. An upscale shop is located on the ground floor, across the from desk.

If you know what to ask, and where you are going, you are passed through to the location of a small elevator, well protected with metal grating and heavy steel bars and locks. Several other security measures later, all with heavy reinforcements, and eventually one emerges into the offices of the Jewish news weekly, the Salom Gazette, housed in the Sephardic Jewish Center, the nerve center of Turkish Jewry. The Istanbul-based Center, which is struggling for resources — and survival — at this point, produces the only Ladino newspaper in the world. It is probably the only spot in the country where Jews can find materials in Hebrew, Ladino, and other languages about Israel and Judaism.

Violent “pro-Palestinian” Demonstrations Around World

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Pro-Palestinian activists around the world reacted quickly to Israel’s ground invasion.

In Jordan, Egypt and Turkey, Israel’s “allies” in the region, security forces clashed with protesters hours after Israel announced the beginning of the ground invasion of Gaza. Israel Radio reported that dozens of protesters in Cairo burned Israeli flags and demanded Egypt expel Israeli Ambassador Chaim Cohen. The report also said protesters tried to march on the Israeli embassy, but were rebuffed by security forces.

Same for Turkey: Hundreds of protesters threw stones and waved Palestinian flags in front of the Israeli Embassy and the consulate in Istanbul. Local media said demonstraors in Ankara condemned Israel’s “massacre of civilians by air raids, and Reuters reported that riot police disbursed the riot in Istanbul with tear gas and water cannons. Reuters reported that demonstrators in Istanbul chanted “Murderer Israel, get out of Palestine,” and smashed consulate windows with sticks and rocks.

In addition, the online Algemeiner website quoted Bulent Yildirim, head of the IHH “humanitarian” group, who told a local television station that “Turkish Jews will pay dearly” for Israel’s actions and that Israel is “acting like a spoiled child” for responding to rocket fire at Israeli cities.

Yildirim added, “Jewish tourists, don’t dare come to Turkey. Tonight and tomorrow we are going to hold a different kind of protest, we do not have patience anymore…The Zionists are putting the future of the Jews in danger, we can not hold back our youngsters anymore,” he said.

Yildirim’s organization was the driving force behind the 2010 “humanitarian flotilla” to Gaza, attended by MK Hanin Zoabi, that ended with the deaths of 10 Turkish citizens who attacked IDF troops in international waters.
In order to underscore the common left-wing claim that “pro-Palestinian’ does not mean “anti-Semitic,” graffiti was scrawled on the Israeli consulate reading “Die out murderer Jew.”

In Great Britain, 5,000 protesters brought traffic in central London to a standstill on 15 July, charging the BBC with “one-sided coverage (of the conflict) in favor of Israel (Yes, really!). The protesters cited support from radical academics and journalists including Noam Chomsky and John Pilger.

Former IDF Intel Chief ‘Not Going to Turkey’ for Arrest

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told the Reuters news service Monday evening that he has no plans to respond to the arrest warrant issued by an Istanbul court in Turkey this week.

“I will not visit Turkey, just as I won’t arrive in Syria, Iran or North Korea,” Yadlin commented.

The former military intelligence chief now heads Israel’s National Institute for Strategic Studies. He was charged in connection with his part in the military response to the violation of Israel’s territorial waters off the coast of Gaza in 2010 by a six-vessel flotilla, including the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara.

The vessels were attempting to break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza, which prevents the transfer of weapons, ammunition and other contraband to Gaza terrorists. Nine armed terror activists died after attacking Israeli Navy commandos who boarded the vessel after repeated Israeli instructions to change course and head for Ashdod port were ignored.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-idf-intel-chief-not-going-to-turkey-for-arrest/2014/05/27/

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