‘Turkish Jews’ Symposium at Graz University

On June 18-19, 2018, ‘Jewish-Turkish Entanglement’ Symposium was held at Graz University, in Austria.
‘Turkish Jews’ Symposium at Graz University
Wedding in Neve Şalom Synagog in Istanbul

Activists, academics who have studies on Turkish Jews coming from various countries along with Mois Gabay representing Salom Newspaper, Betsy Penso representing Avlaremoz platform, author and historian Rifat N. Bali whose book “Being a Minority in Istanbul: Greeks, Jews and Armenians in Daily Life” was published last year and Ozgur Kaymak who has studies on minorities from Turkey attended the symposium organized by Kerem Oktem and Ipek Yosmaoglu. Dr. Hay Eytan Kohen, a faculty member at Tel Aviv University and a member of Turks in Israel Association and Mahmure Idil Ozkan from Northwestern University in USA were among the participants who have contributed to the symposium with their presentations.  

The symposium kicked-off with keynote speaker Aron Rodrigue’s speech. Aron Rodrigue, who is a history professor at Stanford University, talked about Turkish Jews from past to present. Rodrigue especially examined the concept “being a guest for 500 years”. He also gave information about the historical development process of Turkish Jews. 

Rıfat N. Bali gave two different presentations at two different panels, with the titles “Shall We Start Packing our Bags?” and “A One Million Dollar Question: Could a Turkish Jew be a Turk, a Jew and a Zionist, at the same time?”  

Betsy Penso gave a speech about the creation of Avlaremoz platform, the reactions they receive and the platform’s activities. 

Mois Gabay gave a speech with the title “Being a Jew in Turkey: Going Between Moshe and Musa”. The title is also the name of a chapter in Gabay’s recent book “We are Young, We are Jewish, we are neither native nor foreigners” published by Libra Publications last year. Gabay also gave a short presentation about Salom Newspaper’s mission.

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