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Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List - February 25, 2007

Association for Jewish Studies Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List

Editor/Moderator: Aviva Ben-Ur <aben-ur(at)judnea(dot)umass(dot)edu>

Week of Sunday, February 25, 2007 (7 Adar 5767)


For archived issues please visit:



1. New Sephardic Studies Journal: _El Presente_ (Alexander)

2. Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies (Holenbeck and Myers)

3. Fellowship Opportunities in North American Jewish Studies: Jacob R. Marcus Center (Proffitt)

4. Query: Sephardim and Travel Literature in Latin America (Uriarte)

5. “Ha’aretz” Article on Turkey’s Jews and Ladino (Stern and Rahmani)

6. “Turkish Jewry Today: An Overview” (Bali)


1. New Sephardic Studies Journal: _El Presente_ (Alexander)

From: "Prof. Tamar Alexander" <talex(at)bgu(dot)ac(dot)il>

Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 08:48:01 +0200

The Gaon Center for Ladino Culture in Ben Gurion University founded a new journal for Sephardic studies edited by Prof. Tamar Alexander and Prof.Yaacov Bentolila.  The journal will be published once a year.  Below, please find the table of contents of the first volume.

Tamar Alexander


_MIKAN: Journal of Jewish and Israeli Literature and Culture Studies_

_El Presente: Studies in Sephardic Culture_

Editors:  Tamar Alexander and Yaakov Bentolila

MIKAN, Vol. 8, El Presente, Vol. 1, December 2006

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

“Heksherim” Center and The Department of Hebrew Literature

Keter Books      

Moshe David Gaon Center for Ladino Culture


Eli Shai

The Curse of Love- The Cancionero of the Sins and the Catastrophe of the Sirens: A new Reading in Abraham B. Yehoshua’s Mr. Mani

Batya Shimony

Identity under Trial – Yehuda Burla between Sephardic Manners and Zionistic Being

Eliezer Papo

The Life Story and the Literary Opus of Laura Papo, "Bohoreta",

The First Female Dramatist who wrote in Judeo- Spanish

Michal Held

Between the River and the Sea – a Mutli-Layered Reading of a Judeo-Spanish Wedding Song from the Island of Rhodes

Tamar Alexander

Komo Puede Ser? The Judeo-Spanish Riddle

Ora (Rodrigue) Schwarzwald

The Study of Eastern Judeo]Spanish

Yaakov Bentolila

The Study of Moroccan Judeo-Spanish ( Hakitia)

Abraham Gross

Jewish, Christian, and Marrano Messianism in Iberia in the Turn of the Fifteenth Century – Common Atmosphere and Symbiotic Relationships

Yaron Ben-Naeh

Leisure Time of Jewish Women in late Ottoman Jerusalem

Alisa Meyuhas Ginio

In Defense of the People of Israel – The Spanish Senator, Ángel Pulido Fernández (1852-1932) and the Sephardic Diaspora.

Gila Hadar

Marriage as Survival Strategy among the Sephardic Jews of Saloniki, 1900-1943: Continuity and Change


Paloma Diaz-Mas

The Judeo-Spanish Literature

View Point

Winfried Busse

Rashi: Transliteration, Transcription and Adaptation of Ladino Texts written in Hebrew Letters.


Surveys and Reviews

Mordechai Arbell

The Ladino and its Culture in Vienna

Shmuel Refael


2. Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies (Holenbeck and Myers)

Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 16:19:09 -0800

From: "Holenbeck, Vivian" <vdios(at)humnet(dot)ucla(dot)edu>

UCLA College of Letters and Science announces the Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies

Sephardic Studies

UCLA's College of Letters and Science is seeking an outstanding scholar to assume the Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies.  The search is open to tenured professors, and in truly exceptional cases, assistant professors.  The scholar may have competence in a number of fields including, but not limited to, history, literature, philosophy, sociology, cultural studies, and anthropology.  The successful candidate will be housed in a suitable campus department within the Social Sciences and/or Humanities Division, and will have access to the resources and staff of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. We will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue recruitment efforts until the position is filled. UCLA is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, welcomes diversity, and encourages applications from women and minorities. Please send a letter of application, three letters of recommendation, and CV to: Chair, Amado Chair Search Committee, Center for Jewish Studies, 302 Royce Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1485.

We are very pleased to have an ongoing and robust series of Sephardic studies activities already at UCLA, and are looking forward to a permanent faculty presence in this important area.

It is our firm belief that this position will add much to a number of existing programs on campus--e.g., Jewish studies, Near Eastern studies, Mediterranean studies--as well as to our fine departments in the Humanities and Social Science divisions. With this in mind, we aim to attract outstanding candidates at the full, associate, and in exceptional cases, assistant professorial ranks for the position.

Vivian Holenbeck

Assistant Director of Operations

UCLA Center for Jewish Studies

302 Royce Hall, Box 951485

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1485

Tel: (310) 825-5387    Fax (310) 825-9049

Email: vdios(at)humnet(dot)ucla(dot)edu <mailto:vdios(at)humnet(dot)ucla(dot)edu>

David N. Myers

Professor of History and Director,

UCLA Center for Jewish Studies

UCLA History Department

405 Hilgard Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1473

(310) 825-3780

(310) 206-9630 (fax)


[edit: slight edit]


3. Fellowship Opportunities in North American Jewish Studies: Jacob R. Marcus Center (Proffitt)

From: "Proffitt, Kevin" <KProffitt(at)huc(dot)edu>

Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 14:22:44 -0500

As we approach spring, it's time again for the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives to extend invitations for qualified candidates to apply for a Marcus Center fellowship. Applicants for the Marcus Center Fellowship program must be conducting serious research in some area relating to the history of North American Jewry. Typically, Marcus Center Fellowships will be awarded to post-doctoral candidates, Ph.D. candidates who are completing dissertations, and senior or independent scholars

If you or any of your colleagues or students might benefit from research at the AJA we invite you (or them) to apply. The application deadline is March 18, 2007. A link to the program and its application requirements is available here - or you can feel free to contact me directly for more information:

With kind regards.

Kevin Proffitt

Director/Fellowship Programs

Senior Archivist for Research and Collections

American Jewish Archives

3101 Clifton Avenue

Cincinnati, OH 45220

513.221.7444, x3304

[ed: slight edit]


4. Query: Sephardim and Travel Literature in Latin America (Uriarte)

From: Javier Uriarte <javur(at)nyu(dot)edu>

Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 12:28:40 -0500

Orientation question

I am a PhD student at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. I am currently working on travel literature during the 19th century Latin America, and more specifically on issues about nation and travel writing. I would like to analyse travelers whose national affiliation could be at odds with the homogenizing nation-building discourses of the 19th century in Latin America; or at least, travelers whose national identification could introduce some instabilities or tensions in relation to those discourses.

I am willing to explore if I could include within my dissertation proposal Sephardic travelers writers who have been in Latin America during those years. As I am only in a preliminary stage of my research, any indication of where to look for these writers would be very much appreciated.  Please contact Javier Uriarte at ju283(at)nyu(dot)edu

Thank you very much for you time. Sincerely,

Javier Uriarte.  

[ed: very slight edit]


5. “Ha’aretz” Article on Turkey’s Jews and Ladino (Stern and Rahmani)

From: losmuestros(at)yahoogroups(dot)com and moise(dot)rahmani(at)sefarad(dot)org

via: Yoav Stern mailto:stern(at)haaretz(dot)co(dot)il

Date: 16 Feb 2007 09:08:46 -0000 los muestros

Il est tot pour dire que le judeo-espagnol est mort

Lu dans Ha'aretz (merci a A.S.)

'It's early to declare Ladino dead'   *

ISTANBUL - It may be the only city in the world that's divided between Asia and Europe. But did you know that it's also the only city in the world that publishes a regular newspaper in Ladino? The weekly “Salom,” which serves the Jewish population of Turkey, and especially the Jews of this city of 10 million on the Bosphorus, is mostly written in Turkish, but each edition has an entire page of news and articles in Ladino.

Ladino, which is widely known here as "Jewish Spanish," is fighting for its survival. When Salom was founded, in 1947, as part of the broader cultural activities of the Jewish community, it appeared entirely in Ladino, but over the years Turkish has replaced that language. In addition to the weekly page, there is also a monthly magazine in Ladino, which is apart of an effort of the members of Turkey's Jewish community to preserve the language, an effort that also involves many in Israel, Europe and America.

But it's only in Turkey that's there a substantial community whose members are united by Ladino.  Turkey's Jewish community numbers approximately 23,000, which makes it, after Iran's, the largest Jewish community in the Muslim world.  Nonetheless, this large population, which comprises the descendants of Jews expelled from Spain in 1492, and who were welcomed to the empire by the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II, is aging. The birthrate is dwindling - for every three deaths there is only one new child, and 20 percent of all marriages are mixed.

Many in the Jewish community view the campaign to revive Ladino as one of the important ways to preserve their cultural life. Turkish Jewry is largely secular, something that reduces the importance of Hebrew, the holy tongue. The hope now is that Ladino can become entrenched as the community's third language, after Turkish and English

Turkish Jews have succeeded in preserving their language for more than 500 years, since the expulsion from Spain. But in the 20th century, Turkish Jewry, like Turkey itself, underwent a tremendous change. The community sought to become part of the citizenry of the new Turkish nation, and to become Turks also in tongue. Toward the late 1940s, the use of Ladino became unacceptable among Jewish youth.

"I could not stand it when my mother spoke to me in Ladino in public," says the editor of Salom, Matilda Levy. "I asked her to speak to me in Turkish, and she did that in a terrible accent."

Karen Gershon Sharhon edits the newspaper's Ladino page and is the moving spirit behind the effort to boost the language. "It is still early to consider Ladino dead," she says, as she sits surrounded by books translated into Ladino and published in Istanbul.  "When I was studying the subject at university, they told me that the language would be dead in 10 years. That was 15 years ago, and in practice what is happening is the opposite," she says.

A few years ago, Sharhon and some of her friends set up a band, Los Pasaros Sepharadis, or the Spanish Birds, to perform Ladino songs, and find they are having great success in attracting audiences. Last year, in cooperation with the Istanbul branch of Institute Cervantes, courses in Ladino and modern Spanish were set up for the Jewish community, and about 80 young members of the community registered and began learning the language.

Members of the younger generation all speak fluent Turkish, of course, but their names are still foreign. According to Levy, people who do not know her think she is a Turkish Muslim, until they hear her name. "They think I am a foreigner, and then I need to explain that I am not. I am a Jewish Turk," she says.

Nationalist elements in Turkey have attacked Jews for their ethnic background.  "This is a new trend," says the deputy head of the Jewish community in Turkey, Lina Filiba. "The nationalists are questioning our Turkishness, even though the fact that we are Turkish is accepted by all others," she adds.

Yoav Stern

* Il est utile de signaler qu'il existe un journal, “Los Muestros, la Voix des Sefarades,” publie depuis 1990 a Bruxelles, dont un tiers des articles sont en judeo-espagnol. Ce magazine trimestriel independant  de 68 pages (francais, anglais et judeo-espagnol) est aussi sur internet au Pour de plus amples informations : info(at)sefarad(dot)org

Moise Rahmani


6. “Turkish Jewry Today: An Overview” (Bali)

From: JCPA-Changing Jewish Communities <cjc(at)www(dot)dailyalert(dot)jcpa(dot)org>

Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 09:46:17 +0200

Turkish Jewry Today - Rifat N. Bali

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: This summary is especially interesting for its information on the contemporary community]

Changing Jewish Communities

 No. 17, 15 February 2007 / 25 Shevat 5767

 Turkish Jewry Today

 Rifat N. Bali

* The Turkish Jewish community is one of the oldest of the Diaspora, dating back to the Roman Empire.

* Ninety percent of Turkish Jews live in Istanbul and most of the remaining 10 percent in Izmir.

* Demographically it is an aging community with a steady trend of emigration, in the past to Israel and nowadays mainly to the United States.

* In the last thirty years the Turkish Jewish community has been portrayed as a model of "the tolerance of the Ottoman Empire and of the Turkish Republic toward its minorities." This message was promulgated by the Turkish Republic so as to neutralize the "terrible Turk" image still popular in some circles of the American establishment.

 Historical Background

 The Ottoman Years

 The Turkish Jewish community is one of the oldest of the Diaspora, dating back to the Roman Empire.1 An important date in its history is the expulsion edict of 31 March 1492 by Ferdinand, King of Spain, and his wife Queen Isabella. The edict stipulated that Jews must be expelled from Spain on 31 July 1492 unless they converted to Catholicism.2 This resulted in the emigration of approximately two hundred thousand Spanish Jews (Sephardim) to the Balkans and Asia Minor, which were Ottoman lands. Most Jews living today in Turkey are descendants of those first settlers.

 In the Ottoman Empire, Jews, like Greeks and Armenians, lived as a millet.3 Each millet was organized as a semiautonomous community represented by its religious leader. In this system non-Muslims were accepted as dhimmis, "People of the Book" protected by their masters, the Ottoman Muslims. As dhimmis they had to be distinguished from the Muslims and were subject to certain limitations. They had to wear clothing of a certain color, could not ride horses, could not build synagogues higher than Muslim houses were exempted from military service and forced to pay a poll tax.4

 The Ottoman Empire allied with the Central Powers in World War I, and met its demise as a result of the war. On 30 October 1918, the Empire and the Allied Powers signed the Moudros Armistice. Soon after, the Allied forces occupied Constantinople and the Greek army occupied Thrace, Izmir and its surroundings. The peace treaty signed on 10 August 1920 at S?vres between the Entente and the Ottoman Empire liquidated the latter and virtually abolished Turkish sovereignty in Asia Minor.

 The treaty was rejected by Mustafa Kemal, later named Ataturk (father of the Turks) and the nationalists. On 19 May 1919 they launched the national war of independence which ended on 29 August 1922 with a victory over the occupying Greek forces. During this period of turmoil, Jews were loyal to the nationalist movement. The last Ottoman chief rabbi, Haim Nahum, supported the nationalists and participated in the 1922 Lausanne Peace Conference as an adviser and member of the Turkish delegation.5 The conference ended with the Lausanne Treaty signed on 24 July 1923, by which Turkey regained all territories and sovereignty conceded to the Allies in the Treaty of S?vres.

 The Republican Years

 The first two decades (1923-1945). Three months after the Lausanne Treaty on 29 October 1923, Mustafa Kemal declared that Turkey was a republic. The transition from empire to republic was painful for the Turkish Jews. The new republic raised the social status of its people from subjects to citizens, and the Constitution of 1924 extended equality to all citizens, thereby upgrading the social status of non-Muslims from dhimmis to citizens. However, Turkish society continued to perceive non-Muslims, including Jews, as dhimmis whose loyalty to the fatherland was suspect.

 During the first two decades of the Turkish Republic, three events particularly affected Turkish Jews. In late June-early July 1934, anti-Jewish riots occurred in various towns and cities of Thrace with Jewish communities.6 Then during May-July 1942,7 non-Muslim enlisted men were forced to serve in labor battalions. Finally, the Capital Tax Law, meant to tax wealth accumulated by profiteering during the wartime years, was ratified on 11 November 1942.8

 Under this law, non-Muslims of Turkish and foreign nationalities were taxed much more heavily than Muslims of Turkish nationality at equal levels of wealth. Non-Muslims of Turkish nationality who were unable to pay the taxes were sent to labor camps in Eastern Anatolia to honor their debts by shoveling snow under harsh winter conditions, whereas Turkish Muslim taxpayers were exempt from forced labor. For many Jews, the law meant commercial ruin and the end of any hope that they would one day be considered as citizens equal to the Muslims.

 The multiparty democracy. The discriminatory situation in which Turkish Jews lived during the first two decades of the republic changed drastically after the end of World War II. In 1946, Turkey started to experiment with true democracy by establishing multiple political parties. Concurrently, however, the Islamic movement reawakened. In the first two decades of the republic, the Turkish government had repressed the movement. The government sought instead to implement secularism in a society that had been governed by sharia law for six centuries, the duration of the Ottoman Empire.

 After resurfacing in 1946, the Islamic movement steadily gained strength and reached a peak in the 1980s and 1990s. This movement regarded the Jews as the main cause of the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Until the 1990s, the movement's anti-Semitism remained at the level of virulent rhetoric. In that decade, however, this anti-Semitism moved from rhetoric to action with physical attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions.

 In 1992, Hizballah militants attacked the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul with hand grenades. In 1993, Jak Kamhi, a Jewish business magnate, escaped death from an armed attack. In 1995, Prof. Yuda Y?r?m, president of the Ankara Jewish community, miraculously survived a bomb which had been planted in his car. On August 2003, a Jewish dentist named Yasef Yahya was murdered. The perpetrators confessed that their motive was simply to kill a Jew. In each of these cases various Islamist groups were responsible.

 These hate crimes were a prelude to the synagogue attacks on 15 November 2003. On that day Turkish terrorists who had trained in Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan attacked two Istanbul synagogues during Shabbat prayers, killing twenty-three people including six Jews.

 The Governance of the Community

 The Turkish Republic recognizes the Chief Rabbi as the official leader of the Turkish Jews. His authority is limited to religious affairs, with lay leaders being responsible for secular affairs. The Chief Rabbi has an Advisory Council and an Executive Council. The fifty members of the former include prominent Jewish lawyers, businessmen, and industrialists who make policy on secular matters. The Executive Council is comprised of eighteen members selected from the Advisory Council to implement its policies.

 The president of the community, who is unofficially elected by the fifty members of the Advisory Council, is a de facto but not de jure president. The Turkish government's unwillingness to give de jure recognition is probably because it does not want to create a precedent encouraging other religious and ethnic groups to ask for similar recognition. The secular character of the Turkish Republic does not allow ethnic and religious groups to organize legally as communities, which was valid in the Ottoman Empire under the millet system.

 Demography and Geographic Distribution

 The Turkish Jewish community is mainly Sephardic. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Ashkenazim represented a significant part of the Jewish population, but today they number only about four hundred. Ashkenazim have been intermarrying with Sephardim, and most of the children are raised according to Sephardic traditions. It is believed that within a few generations the Ashkenazi population of Turkey will have totally disappeared.9

 Although the Chief Rabbinate estimates a semioffical Turkish Jewish population of about twenty-three thousand, a more realistic figure is seventeen thousand to twenty thousand.10 Twenty percent are aged 0-24; far lower than the 50 percent figure for the general population.11 About 1,500 Turkish Jews live in Izmir and the rest in Istanbul, with very small populations in the cities of Edirne, Kirklareli, ?anakkale, Ankara, Bursa, Adana, and Antakya where in the past there had been a significant Jewish presence.12

 In 1914, the Turkish Jewish community of 147,000 represented nine of every thousand in the general population, whereas today's total represents 0.3 of every thousand in the general population. Emigration is mainly responsible for this decrease,13 first to the United States and France and later to Palestine and Israel.14 The latter emigration reached its peak soon after Israel was established when thirty thousand Jews, about 40 percent of the Turkish Jewish population at that time, went to live there.15 This emigration to Israel continued steadily in the following decades, fluctuating somewhat according to political and economic conditions in Turkey.16 In the 1980s and 1990s, it practically stopped and instead Turkish Jewish young people began emigrating to the United States.

 Cultural and Religious Activities

 The Turkish Jewish community's social welfare institutions are the Or-Ahayim Jewish Hospital of Istanbul;17 the Old Age Home in Istanbul;18 the Society for Aid to Students;19 the Society to Protect and Shelter Orphans; the Matan Baseter-Barinyurt, a home in Istanbul for people in need of medical care and/or without relatives;20 and the Karatas Jewish Hospital and Old Age Home of Izmir.

 The Ulus Jewish School in Istanbul, established in 1915 and moved to a new building in 1994, provides kindergarten, primary, and high school education.21 Its current total of 460 students at all levels represents 30 percent of Turkish Jewish youth in this age bracket. For Jewish youth in Izmir, only a Sunday school is available. There are also five cultural societies serving Turkish Jewish youth, four in Istanbul and one in Izmir.22

 Synagogues and cemeteries are operational in Istanbul,23 Izmir, Ankara, Kirklareli, Antakya, Adana, Bursa, and ?anakkale. The largest numbers of active synagogues are in Istanbul and Izmir, the other Jewish communities being very small.

 There are also four Jewish cultural institutions in Istanbul. The Society to Protect Poor People draws its membership from the community's intelligentsia.  The community's leadership is exclusively selected from the members of this society. The other three organizations are: the Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews;24 the Schneidertemple Culture and Art Center, operated by the Galata Ashkenazi Cultural Society;25 and the Ottoman-Turkish Sephardic Culture Research Center.26 The third is an informal organization that is conducting an oral history project in cooperation with Centropa, an American nonprofit organization based in Vienna,27 and is seeking to revive Ladino culture among Turkish Jews.

 The Quincentennial Foundation deserves particular attention. Established in 1989 by Turkish Jewish community leaders and businessmen, its president is the aforementioned well-known industrialist Jak Kamhi. In 1992, the foundation celebrated the quincentennial anniversary of the Sephardic Jews' arrival to the Ottoman lands after their expulsion from Spain.

 In 1989-1992, the Quincentennial Foundation implemented a highly successful public relations campaign in the United States targeting its political and intellectual establishment. This effort sought to improve Turkey's "terrible Turk" image in the United States, which was a result of Turkey's past discriminatory policies toward minorities, its human rights violations after the 12 September 1980 military coup, and of the genocide of the Ottoman Armenians during their deportation in 1915. The campaign aimed to convey to the American intelligentsia the implicit message that the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent Turkish Republic, which behaved so tolerantly toward its Jewish community, could not have committed a crime against humanity such as the genocide of the Ottoman Armenians.

 The community also has four periodicals. The Shalom weekly newspaper28 was established in 1947 and is published in Turkish. The El Amaneser is a monthly newsletter in Ladino. The G?ztepe and Dostluk monthly journals are published in Turkish by the G?ztepe and Dostluk cultural societies, respectively.29


 Although the Turkish Republic has strong relations with Israel, the Turkish Jewish community's leadership maintains a very low profile in terms of expressing solidarity with Israel. Not only does the Turkish public have an extremely negative perception of Israel and of the demonized ideology of Zionism,30 but expressions of support for Israel by Turkish Jews would immediately raise allegations of disloyalty to Turkey.

 The Turkish Jewish community has, indeed, maintained a low profile throughout its history, which has been fraught with discriminatory policies, especially the aforementioned 1942 Capital Tax Law. It was with the Quincentennial Foundation's public relations campaign in Turkey in the 1990s-a corollary of the campaign in the United States-that the community began opening up to Turkish society. Since 2001 the community has celebrated a Jewish Heritage Day aimed at a projecting a better image of the Turkish Jewish cultural heritage to society at large. However, the terrorist attacks against Jewish personalities, the murder of the Jewish dentist, the November 2003 synagogue attacks, and threats received by the community institutions during the summer 2006 Lebanon war have led the leadership to suspend, for the time being, this cautious opening up to Turkish society.

 Today the community leadership's main concern is the security of its religious, social, and cultural institutions. On the one hand, the leadership seeks to maintain the present status quo in its relations with the Turkish government and society. On the other hand, it wishes to continue instilling a Jewish identity in the community's youth, who, under the present circumstances and for the foreseeable future, cannot publicly express sympathy for Israel.  

 The community's future depends very much on whether the nationalist and Islamist trends presently threatening Turkish society will eventually subside and whether Turkey will continue to develop as a liberal democracy without changing its secular character.

 Rifat N. Bali, an independent scholar, is a graduate of Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Religious Sciences Division, in Paris. He is the author of nine books and numerous articles on the history of Turkish Jewry. His most recent publication is The Varlik Vergisi" Affair: A Study of Its Legacy-Selected Documents (Istanbul: Isis Press, 2005).

 *            *            *


 1. Under the Roman Empire, Jews lived in the Balkans, Constantinople, and Asia Minor and were called Romaniots. They had Greek family names, their synagogues had Greek names, and they spoke Romaniot, otherwise known as Judeo-Greek, a mixture of Greek and Hebrew. See Simon Marcus, "Romaniots," _Encyclopaedia Judaica_, Vol. 14, 231-32. For a general history of the Jews of Turkey, see Avram Galante, _Histoire des Juifs de Turquie_, Vols. 1-9 (Istanbul: Isis Press, n.d.) [French]; Stanford J. Shaw, _The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic_ (London: Macmillan, 1991); Walter F. Weiker, _Ottomans, Turks and the Jewish Polity: A History of the Jews of Turkey_ (Lanham, MD, and London: University Press of America, 1992); Esther Benbassa, _Une Diaspora Sepharade en Transition Istanbul XIXe-XXeme Siecle_ (Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1993). [French]

 2. For a full translation of the edict, see

 3. The term millet means "nation."

 4. For a study of the millet system and dhimmi status, see Benjamin Braude and Bernard Lewis, eds., _Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire_, Vols. 1, 2 (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1982); Bat Ye'or, _The Dhimmi Jews and Christians under Islam_, trans. David Maisel, Paul Fenton, and David Littman (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1985).

 5. For a biography of the chief rabbi, see Esther Benbassa, _Haim Nahum: A Sephardic Chief Rabbi in Politics 1892-1923_, trans. Miriam Kochan (Tuscaloosa: University of  Alabama Press, 1995).

 6. For a study of these riots, see Avner Levy, "Ha-Pera'ot bi-Yehudei Traqayah 1934," _Peamim_, No. 230 (1984): 111-32. (Hebrew)

 7. This measure was taken in response to the Nazis invading Greece and reaching the border of Thrace. The Turkish government feared that in case the Nazis invaded Turkey, the minorities (especially the Armenians) would act as a fifth column and collaborate with them. See Rifat N. Bali, "kinci D?nya Savasi Yillarinda T?rkiye'de Azinliklar - I – Yirmi Kur'a htiyatlar Olayi," _Tarih ve Toplum_, No. 1769 (November 1998): 4-18. [Turkish]

 8. See Rifat N. Bali, _The "Varlik Vergisi" Affair: A Study of Its Legacy-Selected Documents_ (Istanbul: Isis Press, 2005); Faik ?kte, _The Tragedy of the Turkish Capital Tax_, trans. Geoffrey Cox (London: Croom Helm, 1987).

 9. For the history of the Ashkenazim, see Moe Grosman, Robert Schild, and Erdal Frayman, _A Hundred Year Old Synagogue in Y?ksekkaldirim: Ashkenazi Jews_ (Istanbul: Galata Askenaz K?lt?r Dernegi, 2000). [Turkish/English]

 10. Antoine Emmanuel Strobel, “Inscription de la Judeo-Hispanicit? dans l'Espace Turc-Preliminaires,” unpublished MA thesis, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, 2004, 29. [French]

 11. Lina Filiba, “T?rk Musevi Cemaati Genel Yapi ve Istanbul Demografik Durumu” (2002), unpublished study, July 2005, 1-2. [Turkish]

 12. Ibid., 1.

 13. For the demography of the Turkish Jews, see Rifat N. Bali, _Cumhuriyet Yillarinda T?rkiye Yahudileri Bir T?rklestirme Ser?veni (1923-1945)_ (Istanbul: Iletisim Yayinlari, 1999), 561. [Turkish]

 14. For sources on these events, see Avner Levi, _Toldot ha-Yehudim be Republik?ah ha-Turkit: Maamadam Ha-politi Veha-mishpat?i_ (Jerusalem, 1992) [Hebrew]; Bali, Cumhuriyet; Esther Benbassa and Aron Rodrigue, _The Jews of the Balkans: The Judeo-Spanish Community, Fifteenth to Twentieth Centuries_ (Cambridge: Oxford University Press, 1995).

 15. For the history of the emigration to Israel, see Rifat N. Bali, _Cumhuriyet Yillarinda T?rkiye Yahudileri Aliya Bir Toplu G???n ?yk?s?, 1946-1949_ (Istanbul: letiim Yayinlari, 2003); Walter F. Weiker, _The Unseen Israelis: The Jews from Turkey in Israel_ (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1988); Sule Toktas, "Turkey's Jews and Their Immigration to Israel," _Middle Eastern Studies_, Vol. 42, No. 3 (2006): 505-19.

 16. Turkey's democracy has been interrupted by the following coups: on May 27 1960, the Turkish army toppled the Democrat Party government and executed Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan, and Foreign Minister Fatin R?d? Zorlu; on 12 March 1971, the Turkish Joint Chiefs of Staff issued an ultimatum to S?leyman Demirel's government resulting in its resignation; and on 12 September 1980, the Turkish army staged another coup against the Demirel government.  

 17. For a history of this hospital, see Viktor Apala?i, ed., _Or-Ahayim Hospital: A Century of Love and Compassion_ (Istanbul, 2003).

 18. For a history of this institution, see Arslan Yahni, ed., _The Association for Assistance to the Elderly from Its Birth to the Present 1915-2005_ (stanbul, 2006).

 19. For a history of this institution, see Yusuf Besalel, _Asirlik Hayir Kurumu Misne Tora_(1898-1998) (Istanbul: Maraton Grafik, 1998). [Turkish]



 22. These societies are the Yildirim Sports Club; the Home of Friendship Society (Dostluk Yurdu Dernegi); the G?ztepe Cultural Society; the Home of Comradeship Society (Arkadaslik Yurdu Dernegi), informally called the Turkish Union of Jewish Students; and the Cultural Society of Izmir.

 23. The cemeteries are in Baslarbasi, Hask?y, Kuzguncuk, Kilyos, Ortak?y, Ulus Sephardi, Ulus Ashkenazi, and Sisli Italian.


 25. For the history of this synagogue, see Grosman, Schild, and Frayman, _A Hundred Year Old Synagogue_.



 28. The newspaper is put out by the G?zlem Publishing Company, which also publishes Jewish interest books:

 29. See note 22.

 30. In a November 2003 survey, 63 percent of Turks expressed a negative opinion of Israel. Source: Prof. Dr. Yusuf Ziya ?zcan and Do?. Dr. Ihsan Dagi, "T?rk Dis Siyaseti Arastirmasi," unpublished study, Ankara, November 2003, 36.

[ed: slight edit]

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