Heading for a Jew-Free Turkey

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were about 200,000 Jews in Turkish lands – when the entire population was barely 10 million. Today, the Turkish population has reached 77 million – and there are fewer than 17,000 Jews.

Moris Gabay, a Turkish Jewish writer for Salom, the Istanbul Jewish newspaper, recently wrote in his column, “Are Turkish Jews Leaving?:” “We face threats, attacks and harassment every day. Hope is fading. Is it necessary for a ‘Hrant among us’ to be shot in order for the government, the opposition, civil society, our neighbors and jurists to see this?” ‘Hrant’ whom he referred to is Hrant Dink, a Turkish Armenian journalist who was shot dead in 2007 by a gang of nationalist Turks.

On Dec. 15, the Turkish liberal daily Radikal interviewed Gabay, who started by showing Radikal’s reporter dozens of threats and hate messages he has received through Twitter, Facebook and mail messages. “This is almost daily,” he said.