OPINION/ While the tom-tom sounds are approaching

We are witnessing a period in which all incidents need to be studied by everyone properly and repeatedly. Today, Turkish Jewish community faces increasing hatred, a challenge that they have not faced with in a long time. Even the shallow perception of Edirne Governor’s recent statement regarding Edirne Synagogue, makes us shudder.

OPINION/ While the tom-tom sounds are approaching

December 3, 2014


However we shouldn’t blame the Governor, so much. In the environment we live in today, sharing his emotions plain and simple should only be considered as an expression of his sincerity. There is no doubt that there are many people around us who think like him and who after hearing his statement probably said “He didn’t say enough”. It’s not very easy trying to live with such a possibility.

The fact that the Governor called Chief Rabbi Haleva to apologize at the time I was writing this article is of course not enough to put our minds at ease. Because, sliding the things he said with “a great grudge” over with a pretext apology does not imply that he has absolved himself of his real feelings. Furthermore, the fact that in his apology he has stated that he has been misunderstood and that media distorted his expressions is yet another mishap. However, this type of backstage apology statement is acceptable in our country and whatever happened falls into oblivion among the ever changing agenda. I wish that the Governor could read his apology statement in front of the press.

Another similar incident which needs to be noted is the fact that a teacher who has dedicated himself into shaping our future has posted a threat note on the entrance gate of Neve Shalom Synagogue. I believe that the emergence of these individuals in a society where there are people who do not want Jewish neighbors and the reactions coming from an environment that uses the term Jew as a profanity should be regarded as normal. What’s not normal here is that the society- aside from some exceptions- stays mum about such hate speeches thus enabling environments where racist actions score points.

It’s not pleasant to be tossed around on a hate function based on Israel-Palestine ups and downs. Turning the issue into a holy war instead of acting with common sense to solve this deep conflict is a dangerous game which will have implications on everyone...

The judicial system, independent universities and opinion leaders unfortunately still turn a deaf ear to hate speeches. Media distorts all kinds of news, again and again. Our intellectuals who speak foreign languages moderate enough to follow foreign news outlets do not follow publications of other countries or publications reflecting different opinions. Our people are caught up in a vicious circle and embraced picking up on those who are different almost as if it’s their principle for existence. They can bear a grudge like our Governor. I hope their expression of this grudge is as peaceful as our Governor’s so we won’t face with pogrom-like incidents similar to 1934 Thrace Incidents. This would be a burden that neither Turkey nor Jews who lived on these soils in peace for centuries could bear.


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