Hanukkah 2019 was Celebrated in GalataGalata, the historical district of Turkish Jews, where once many Jewish people lived in, witnessed a wonderful Hanukkah celebration this year.
The Hanukkah celebration organized collectively by the Turkish Jewish Community and the Beyoğlu Municipality, began after the end of the Jewish holy day Shabbat, and after the completion of the prayers in the Neve Şalom Synagogue. During the crowded celebration despite the pouring rain, the 7th candle of the festival was lit with a ceremony, and the Sami Levi Orchestra performed a beautiful concert for the guests.
The Mayor of Beyoğlu, Haydar Ali Yıldız, who spoke for Hanukkah said:
"Our Jewish citizens, respected consul general, respected metropolite, dear ladies, people of Beyoğlu; I greet you with love and respect. Happy Hanukkah to you. We are in Beyoğlu, a city of history, where all the religions, beliefs, cultures can exist and can live freely the hope to survive. Different beliefs had been able to express themselves here extensively. Festivals have always served as a foundation to keep our mutual culture alive and hand it over to the next generations; just like the Hanukkah Festival. I wish that the candles that are lit here today, in the historical city, right next to the Galata Tower, shall contribute to ending the ignorance all over the world."
The Hanukkah Festival is being celebrated in public places in Istanbul since 2015.
In 2015, the Hanukkah Festival was celebrated in Ortaköy Square, with the participation of state officials, for the first time in the history of the Turkish Republic. Last year Hanukkah Festival was celebrated in Nişantaşi Arts Park in Nişantaşi, within the joint organization of the Şişli Municipality and the Turkish Jewish Community.