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Tense of article[edit]

The tense of this article alternates between past and present they still exist? perhaps all of this should be phrased in the past tense. freestylefrappe 23:46, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

As far as I know it is unclear if they still exist; they were a secretive sect, and if they exist, presumably still are. Their existence is widely rumoured. Jayjg (talk) 16:43, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
there are many discussions (right now) in Turkey about their number, identity, hidden agenta etc, but these are considered to be conspiracy theories in the mainstream. since they have always been kind of secretive, there is not really much info about the current situation, but you can see in media now and then some people who identify themselves as donme. it is also widely believed among public that some prominent families are donme (at least in origin). so i think it is safe to say that they still exist, but i suspect they are still a group based on religion. i think there is really very little academic study on their current situation. Fethi 29 June 2005 04:47 (UTC)
In that case any content that is not specifically historical should be put in present tense form. I will make any appropriate changes. freestylefrappe June 29, 2005 19:53 (UTC)

There aren't that many and as the intercommunal marriage rule does not really apply anymore, they are mostly diluted and assimilated to an extent. My grandmother side comes from Theseloniki. Hence I am only a quarter dönme, plenty of people have maried out of the selanik circles within that branch of my family. Social status and or merit has gained priority over ethnicity in marital criteria, since as early as the 20s and 30s.

The conspiracy theories are pretty much baseless. Allthough most of the dönme are financially well off, the major cause of this is the wealth tax (varlik vergisi) of the 50s. Their influence pales in comparison to most muslim families. The most prominent and influential family are the Eczacıbaşıs, but I can neither confirm their origins to theseloniki nor to any other branch of sabethayism.

As duallity is hard to maintain, most dönmes are either deist or atheist and tend to stick to muslim tradition. Some have converted completely to islam, others to judaism. Both cases are rare. Most donmes I have met celebrate ramadan (though i have known none to fast) and kurban bayramı(with store bought meat:), but they wont keep shabath or celebrate passover, hanukkah, yom kiphur etc.. I have however witnessed many christmasses celebrated (on the 25th as opposed to new years) within my family. Because:

  • its fun and the food is nice
  • a great many have married christians
  • they are rich pretentious pricks.

either of the above.

Donmeh or Dönme ?[edit]

In Turkish, the correct term is dönme (which can also mean transsexual), why is this article titled Donmeh" ? --Pylambert 12:39, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Maybe it's too late but for others I should add an infolog. "Dönme" literally means "turning" or "returning" it's used like these two or more ways, there is so many words like this in Turkish language, the word comes from "dönmek" verb, here you can see:önmek Karak1lc1k 03:11, 1 July 2015 (UTC)


I propose to change the article name to Sabbateans. Donmeh has a somewhat pejorative undertone, to put it mildly. The correct pronounciation would be "dönme" anyway, and the term is valid for anyone who changes religion, although it implies, in varying degrees depending the circomstances, disapproval of the act by those who use the term (more or less equal to "aposthate"). "Avdeti" is a neutral term in that sense, but is archaic today, very rarely used. Turks would use "Sabataycı" or "Sabetaycı". It's still not a compliment but defines the people in question better. And "Selanikli" (from Salonica) is misleading because not all Turks from Selanik are Sabbateans, although Sabbateans themselves would use that term more readily than others, if ever. Cretanforever 15 June 2006 (Name change proposal)

Cretanforever, to move Donmeh article to Sabbateans was a wrong action for several reasons. Please try to be more informed on subject and to discuss with people here before you decided for such a move. These terms have very different meanings; Sabbateans means any follower of Sabetai, esp. believers that believed in his Messiah claim, this includes the movement before his apostasy, thus the term Sabbatean movement etc. , even after the mass conversion in Salonica in 1680s, still most believers remained within the Jewish fold. Donmeh or Donme, is a non-official turkish designation since early 18. century, only for the Muslim converts of his followers, more specifically the sect itself with particular beliefs, rituals etc. The recently coined Turkish term Sabetayci tries to replace the Donme but does not succeed because Sabetayci is used in Turkey to label living people as if they still believe in Sabetai Zevi or follow the rituals, wheras Donme means the community itself with origins in Salonica. I strongly suggest to move the article back to Donme.Argonit 22:14, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Worship Tzvi?[edit]

The Sabbateans worshipped Shabbosai Tzvi? Is there a source for that?--Meshulam 04:51, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

(moved from article)[edit]

Warning: this is a wierd and inaccurate article, which I do not have time to correct, but the notion of 'secret' Judaizing among the donmeh is a miscomception. They are perhaps better conceptualized as blending belief in Islam and in Shabbatai Tzvi with the use of a Jewish language and observance of the Jewish holidays according to the Jewish calendar, but each holiday recomeptualized as commemorating a date in the life of Shabbtai Tzvi, along with the Muslim holidays and shaaria. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dianamuir (talkcontribs) 18:37, 16 August 2006.

List of names-reason for deletion[edit]

Anyone a bit familiar with this subject and the current discussion in Turkey can see the absurdity of this list of names and surnames. This is an encyclopedia article and not a forum for allegations and claims. For most of these prominent people there is no evidence at all and even there is actually contrary evidence that they are not of Donmeh origin. Therefore I am deleting all the section until real evidence with reliable sources is supplied. The article should focus on their culture, history and beliefs. Argonit 09:31, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I visited the talk page because the list struck me as allegational and many of the pages of 20th C. figures contain no documentation of this allegation. I see that it was addressed but reinstated without discussion, so I will delete it. If someone wishes to restore it, they should address Argonit's quibbles above —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:26, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

About Gossip Links[edit]

Please put reliable links. Not gossips. Specially about Ataturk's ancestry.--Karcha 12:36, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Donmeh and Jews were </NPOV> understandably <NPOV> concerned about the nationally defined Greek state and its ambitions towards Salonika. They made up a surprisingly substantial portion of the Young Turk movement there. Of course there will be speculation about Salonikan Young Turks. Jd2718 03:34, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

A book that draws on sources like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion should not be linked to, either. Removed the link.--Ankimai 09:51, 20 February 2007 (UTC)


I put in OR, reference and NPOV tags since the whole article seems to be standing on a bunch of gossip sites and a series of newspaper articles. Please bring in better and more impartial sources on this.. Baristarim 15:34, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

"Donmeh" and "Sabbateans" is NOT the same thing![edit]

Please see the clarifications in this article that the Sabbateans were Jews who practiced only Judaism, but who either openly or secretly accepted Sabbatai Zevi as the one and only true Jewish Messiah. They were primarily a notable deviant Jewish sect for centuries after Zevi. On the other hand, the Donmeh, while in some ways being a branch-off of the original Sabbatians associated with some of Zevi's followers who converted to Islam with him or afterwards, were Muslims first and foremost and kept their hidden rituals of Judaic origin hidden and concealed which had no resemblence to normative Judaism. Very significantly, the majority of Jews who had followed Zevi did not convert to Islam even though they may have clung fervently to their belief in him as a (temporarily failed for some) Jewish Messiah. This is a crucial difference bteween the "conventional" Sabbateans and the "unconventional" Donmeh, and to lump the Donmeh with all Sabbateans is a gross error, a misuse of the term "Sabbateans" and an insult to Jewish history and accepted scholarship. This is a complex area of Jewish history that is prone to misunderstanding and needs to be approached with great caution. IZAK 06:28, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I find it odd that Donmeh has a note across the top distinguishing between them and Sabbateans, but every paragraph of Donmeh (except the first) refers to them as "Sabbateans". After the first paragraph, the only other use of the word "Donmeh" is in the "External Links". — Malik Shabazz | Talk 00:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

What is Sabbateanism?[edit]

What did they believe? What were their tenets? Their Scriptures?

The article repeats over and over that everyone was shocked when their leader became Muslim--but it never discusses what he did before that conversion.

I suggest a more accurate title to the article would be "Post-Founder Sabbateanism" or "Persecution of Sabbateanism."