Since 1923, when the Turkish Republic was established, Jews have been exposed to systematic discrimination and campaigns of forced Turkification and Islamization.
The Turkish newspaper Milliyet published a news report on March 20 entitled “Synagogues from the era of Byzantium are about to disappear forever!”
“Among the historical and cultural heritage of Istanbul that is on the verge of extinction are Byzantine synagogues which belong to the Turkish Jewish community,” said the report. “Most of the historic synagogues which numbered in dozens in the early 20th century are located in the Balat and Hasköy areas. Many run the risk of disappearing forever”.