History of the Jews in Turkey
|est. 330,000 to 450,000|
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States||16,000|
|Hebrew (in Israel), Turkish, Ladino, English, French, Yevanic (extinct)|
|Part of a series on|
|Jews and Judaism|
|Religion in Turkey
|Secularism in Turkey|
|Irreligion in Turkey|
The history of the Jews in Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Yahudileri, Turkish Jews; Hebrew: יהודים טורקים Yehudim Turkim, Ladino: Djudios Turkos) covers the 2,400 years that Jews have lived in what is now Turkey. There have been Jewish communities in Asia Minor since at least the 5th century BCE and many Spanish and Portuguese Jews expelled from Spain were welcomed into the Ottoman Empire (including regions part of modern Turkey) in the late 15th century, 20 centuries later, forming the bulk of the Ottoman Jews.
Today, the majority of Turkish Jews live in Israel, while modern-day Turkey continues to host a modest Jewish population.
The ancient Israelites were known to have imported honeybees from Anatolia, the Asian part of present-day Turkey. A team of Israeli archaeologists found some 30 intact hives made of straw and unbaked clay, and evidence that there had been over 100-200 more, on the site of the joint Israelite-Canaanite city of Tel Rehov. According to some evidence, the bees were probably imported from the region because they were easier to handle than the bees of the Israelites, which had proved to be extremely aggressive.
Roman and Byzantine rule
According to Jewish scripture, Noah's Ark landed on the top of Mount Ararat, a mountain in the Taurus range in Eastern Anatolia, near the present-day borders of Turkey, Armenia, and Iran. Flavius Josephus, Jewish historian of the first century, notes Jewish origins for many of the cities in Asia Minor, though much of his sourcing for these passages is traditional. New Testament mention of Jewish populations in Anatolia is widespread: Iconium (now: Konya) is said to have a synagogue in Acts 14:1, and Ephesus is mentioned as having a synagogue in Acts 19:1 and in Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians. The Epistle to the Galatians is likewise directed at an area of Anatolia which once held an established Jewish population. Based on physical evidence, there has been a Jewish community in Asia Minor since the 4th century BCE, most notably in the city of Sardis. The subsequent Roman and Byzantine Empires included sizable Greek-speaking Jewish communities in their Anatolian domains which seem to have been relatively well-integrated and enjoyed certain legal immunities. The size of the Jewish community was not greatly affected by the attempts of some Byzantine emperors (most notably Justinian) to forcibly convert the Jews of Anatolia to Christianity, as these attempts met with very little success. The exact picture of the status of the Jews in Asia Minor under Byzantine rule is still being researched by historians. Although there is some evidence of occasional hostility by the Byzantine populations and authorities, no systematic persecution of the type endemic at that time in western Europe (pogroms, the stake, mass expulsions, etc.) is believed to have occurred in Byzantium.
The first Jewish synagogue linked to Ottoman rule is Etz ha-Hayyim (Hebrew: עץ החיים Lit. Tree of Life) in Bursa which passed to Ottoman authority in 1324. The synagogue is still in use, although the modern Jewish population of Bursa has shrunk to about 140 people.
The status of Jewry in the Ottoman Empire often hinged on the whims of the Sultan. So, for example, while Murad III ordered that the attitude of all non-Muslims should be one of "humility and abjection" and should not "live near Mosques or tall buildings" or own slaves, others were more tolerant.
The first major event in Jewish history under Turkish rule took place after the Empire gained control over Constantinople. After Sultan Mehmed II's Conquest of Constantinople he found the city in a state of disarray. After suffering many sieges, a devastating conquest by Catholic Crusaders in 1204 and even a case of the Black Death in 1347, the city was a shade of its former glory. As Mehmed wanted the city as his new capital, he decreed the rebuilding of the city. And in order to revivify Constantinople he ordered that Muslims, Christians and Jews from all over his empire be resettled in the new capital. Within months most of the Empires Romaniote Jews, from the Balkans and Anatolia, were concentrated in Constantinople, where they made up 10% of the city's population. But at the same time the forced resettlement, though not intended as an anti-Jewish measure, was perceived as an "expulsion" by the Jews. Despite this interpretation however, the Romaniotes would be the most influential community in the Empire for a few decades to come, until that position would be lost to a wave of new Jewish arrivals.
The number of native Jews was soon bolstered by small groups of Ashkenazi Jews that immigrated to the Ottoman Empire between 1421 and 1453. Among these new Ashkenazi immigrants was Rabbi Yitzhak Sarfati, a German-born Jew of French descent (Hebrew: צרפתי – Sarfati, meaning: "French"), who became the Chief Rabbi of Edirne and wrote a letter inviting the European Jewry to settle in the Ottoman Empire, in which he stated that: "Turkey is a land wherein nothing is lacking" and asking: "Is it not better for you to live under Muslims than under Christians?"
The greatest influx of Jews into Asia Minor and the Ottoman Empire, occurred during the reign of Mehmed the Conquerors's successor, Beyazid II (1481–1512), after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, Portugal, South Italy and Sicily. The Sultan issued a formal invitation to Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal and they started arriving in the empire in great numbers.
A key moment in Judeo-Turkic relations occurred in 1492, when more than 150,000 Spanish Jews fled the Spanish Inquisition, many to the Ottoman Empire. At that point in time, Constantinople's population was a mere 70,000 due to the various sieges of the city during the Crusades and the so-called Black Death of the 14th century, so this historical event was also significant for repopulation of the city. These Sephardic Jews settled in Constantinople as well as Salonika.
The Jews satisfied various needs in the Ottoman Empire: the Muslim Turks were largely uninterested in business enterprises and accordingly left commercial occupations to members of minority religions. They also distrusted the Christian subjects whose countries had only recently been conquered by the Ottomans and therefore it was natural to prefer Jewish subjects to which this consideration did not apply.
The Sephardi Jews were allowed to settle in the wealthier cities of the empire, especially in the European provinces (cities such as: Constantinople, Sarajevo, Salonica, Adrianople and Nicopolis), Western and Northern Anatolia (Bursa, Aydın, Tokat and Amasya), but also in the Mediterranean coastal regions (for example: Jerusalem, Safed, Damascus, Egypt). Izmir was not settled by Spanish Jews until later. The Jewish population at Jerusalem increased from 70 families in 1488 to 1,500 at the beginning of the 16th century. That of Safed increased from 300 to 2,000 families and almost surpassed Jerusalem in importance. Damascus had a Sephardic congregation of 500 families. Constantinople had a Jewish community of 30,000 individuals with 44 synagogues. Bayezid allowed the Jews to live on the banks of the Golden Horn. Egypt, especially Cairo, received a large number of the exiles, who soon out-numbered the native Jews. Gradually, the chief center of the Sephardic Jews became Salonica, where the Spanish Jews soon outnumbered their co-religionists of other nationalities and, at one time, the original native inhabitants.
Although the status of the Jews in the Ottoman Empire may have often been exaggerated, it is undeniable that they enjoyed tolerance. Under the millet system they were organized as a community on the basis of religion, alongside the other millets (e.g. Orthodox millet, Armenian millet, etc.). In the framework of the millet they had a considerable amount of administrative autonomy and were represented by the Hakham Bashi, the Chief Rabbi. There were no restrictions in the professions Jews could practice analogous to those common in Western Christian countries. There were restrictions in the areas Jews could live or work, but such restrictions were imposed on Ottoman subjects of other religions as well. Like all non-Muslims, Jews had to pay the harac ("head tax") and faced other restrictions in clothing, horse riding, army service etc., but they could occasionally be waived or circumvented.
Jews who reached high positions in the Ottoman court and administration include Mehmed II's minister of Finance ("defterdar") Hekim Yakup dumlupinar (dumlu) Pasa, his Portuguese physician Moses Hamon, Murad II's physician Ishak Pasha and Abraham de Castro, the master of the mint in Egypt.
During the Classical Ottoman period (1300–1600), the Jews, together with most other communities of the empire, enjoyed a certain level of prosperity. Compared with other Ottoman subjects, they were the predominant power in commerce and trade as well in diplomacy and other high offices. In the 16th century especially, the Jews were the most prominent under the millets, the apogee of Jewish influence could arguably be the appointment of Joseph Nasi to Sanjak-bey (governor, a rank usually only bestowed upon Muslims) of the island of Naxos. Also in the first half of the 17th century the Jews were distinct in winning Tax farms, Haim Gerber describes it as: "My impression is that no pressure existed, that it was merely performαnce that counted."
Friction between Jews and Turks was less common than in the Arab territories. Some examples: During the reign of Murad IV (1623–40), the Jews of Jerusalem were persecuted by an Arab who had purchased the governorship of that city from the governor of the province. In 1660 or 1662, under Mehmet IV (1649–87), the city of Safed, with a substantial Jewish community, was destroyed by Arabs. In 1678, Mehmet IV ordered the banishment of the Jews of Yemen to the Mawza Desert, an event which remains in the collective memory of Yemeni Jews as a great tragedy (see Mawza Exile).
An additional problem was the lack of unity among the Jews themselves. They had come to the Ottoman Empire from many lands, bringing with them their own customs and opinions, to which they clung tenaciously, and had founded separate congregations. Another tremendous upheaval was caused when Sabbatai Zevi proclaimed to be the Messiah. He was eventually caught by the Ottoman authorities and when given the choice between death and conversion, he opted for the latter. His remaining disciples converted to Islam too. Their descendants are today known as Donmeh.
The history of the Jews in Turkey in the 18th and 19th century is principally a chronicle of decline in influence and power; they lost their influential positions in trade mainly to the Greeks, who were able to "capitalize on their religio-cultural ties with the West and their trading diaspora". An exception to this theme is that of Daniel de Fonseca, who was chief court physician and played a certain political role. He is mentioned by Voltaire, who speaks of him as an acquaintance whom he esteemed highly. Fonseca was involved in negotiations with Charles XII of Sweden.
Ottoman Jews held a variety of views on the role of Jews in the Ottoman Empire, from loyal Ottomanism to Zionism. Emanuel Karasu of Salonika, for example, was a founding member of the Young Turks, and believed that the Jews of the Empire should be Turks first, and Jews second.
As mentioned before, the overwhelming majority of the Ottoman Jews lived in the European-provinces of the Empire. As the Empire declined however, the Jews of these region found themselves under Christian rule. The Bosnian Jews for example came under Austro-Hungarian rule after the occupation of the region in 1878, the independence of Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia further lowered the number of Jews within the borders of the Ottoman Empire.
The Jewish population of Ottoman Empire had reached nearly 200,000 at the start of the 20th century. The territories lost between 1829 and 1913 to the new Christian Balkan states significantly lowered this number.
The troubled history of Turkey during the 20th century and the process of transforming the old Ottoman empire into a nationalist secular state nation state after 1923, however, had a negative effect on the size of all remaining minorities, including the Jews.
After 1933, a new law put into effect in Nazi Germany for mandatory retirement of officials from non-Aryan race. Thus, the law required all the Jewish scientists in Germany to be fired. Unemployed scientists led by Albert Einstein formed an association in Switzerland. Professor Schwartz, the general secretary of the association, met with the Turkish Minister of Education in order to provide jobs for 34 Jewish scientists in Turkish universities especially in Istanbul University.
The effect of the 1942 Varlık Vergisi ("Wealth Tax") was solely on non-Muslims – who still controlled the largest portion of the young republic's wealth – even though in principle it was directed against all wealthy Turkish citizens, it most intensely affected non Muslims. The "wealth tax" is still remembered as a "catastrophe" among the non-Muslims of Turkey and it had one of the most detrimental effects on the population of Turkish Jews. Many people unable to pay the exorbitant taxes were sent to labor camps and in consequence about 30,000 Jews emigrated. The tax was seen as a racist attempt to diminish the economic power of religious minorities in Turkey.
World War II
Even though Turkey remained neutral during World War II (until its symbolic declaration of war on Nazi Germany on 23 February 1945) and officially forbade granting visas to German Jews, individual Turkish diplomats (such as Necdet Kent, Namık Kemal Yolga, Selahattin Ülkümen and Behiç Erkin) did work hard to save Jews from the Holocaust. Stanford Shaw claims that Turkey saved 100,000, while another historian Rifat Bali claims Turkey saved 15,000 and another historian Tuvia Friling, an Israeli expert on the Balkans and the Middle East 20,000. In his book Arnold Reisman, accepts a figure of 35,000 comprising 15,000 Turkish Jews from France, and approximately 20,000 Jews from Eastern Europe.
A memorial stone with a bronze epitaph was inaugurated in 2012, as the third of individual country memorials (after Poland and the Netherlands) at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp for eight Turkish citizens killed during the Nazi regime in the said camp. The Turkish Ambassador to Berlin, Hüseyin Avni Karslıoğlu stated in an inauguration speech that Germany set free 105 Turkish citizens, held in camps, after a mutual agreement between the two countries, and these citizens returned to Turkey in April 1945, although there is no known official record for other Turkish Jews who may have died during the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.
According to Rifat Bali, Turkish authorities bear some responsibility for the Struma disaster, killing about 781 Jewish refugees and 10 crew, due to their refusal to allow the Jewish refugees on board to disembark in Turkey. William Rubinstein goes further, citing British pressure on Turkey not to let Struma's passengers disembark, in accordance with Britain's White Paper of 1939 to prevent further Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Emigration from Turkey to Israel
When the Republic of Turkey was established in 1923, Aliyah was not particularly popular amongst Turkish Jewry; migration from Turkey to Palestine was minimal in the 1920s. As in other Muslim-majority countries, discrimination later became the main "push" factor that encouraged emigration from Turkey to Palestine.
Between 1923 and 1948, approximately 7,300 Jews emigrated from Turkey to Mandatory Palestine. After the 1934 Thrace pogroms following the 1934 Turkish Resettlement Law, immigration to Palestine increased; it is estimated that 521 Jews left for Palestine from Turkey in 1934 and 1,445 left in 1935. Immigration to Palestine was organized by the Jewish Agency and the Palestine Aliya Anoar Organization. The Varlık Vergisi, a capital tax which occurred in 1942, was also significant in encouraging emigration from Turkey to Palestine; between 1943 and 1944, 4,000 Jews emigrated.
The Jews of Turkey reacted very favorably to the creation of the State of Israel. Between 1948 and 1951, 34,547 Jews immigrated to Israel, nearly 40% of the Jewish population at the time. Immigration was stunted for several months in November 1948, when Turkey suspended migration permits as a result of pressure from Arab countries.
In March 1949, the suspension was removed when Turkey officially recognized Israel, and emigration continued, with 26,000 emigrating within the same year. The migration was entirely voluntary, and was primary driven by economic factors given the majority of emigrants were from the lower classes. In fact, the migration of Jews to Israel is the second largest mass emigration wave out of Turkey, the first being the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey.
After 1951, emigration of Jews from Turkey to Israel slowed materially.
In the mid 1950s, 10% of those who had moved to Israel returned to Turkey. A new synagogue, the Neve Şalom was constructed in Istanbul in 1951. Generally, Turkish Jews in Israel have integrated well into society and are not distinguishable from other Israelis. However, they maintain their Turkish culture and connection to Turkey, and are strong supporters of close relations between Israel and Turkey.
Democratic Party Period
On the night of 6/7 September 1955, the Istanbul Pogrom was unleashed. Although primarily aimed at the city's Greek population, the Jewish and Armenian communities of Istanbul were also targeted to a degree. The damage caused was mainly material (a complete total of over than 4,000 shops and 1,000 houses – belonging to Greeks, Armenians and Jews – were destroyed) it deeply shocked minorities throughout the country.
The present size of the Jewish Community was estimated at 17,400 in 2012 according to the Jewish Virtual Library. The vast majority, approximately 95%, live in Istanbul, with a community of about 2,500 in İzmir and other much smaller groups located in Adana, Ankara, Bursa, Çanakkale, Iskenderun and Kirklareli. Sephardi Jews make up approximately 96% of Turkey's Jewish population, while the rest are primarily Ashkenazi Jews. There is also a small community of Romaniote Jews.
The city of Antakya is home to ten Jewish families, many of whom are of Mizrahi Jewish extraction, having originally come from Aleppo, Syria, 2,500 years ago. Figures were once higher but families have left for Istanbul, Israel and other countries.
Turkish Jews are still legally represented by the Hakham Bashi, the Chief Rabbi. Rabbi Ishak Haleva, is assisted by a religious Council made up of a Rosh Bet Din and three Hahamim. Thirty-five Lay Counselors look after the secular affairs of the Community and an Executive Committee of fourteen, the president of which must be elected from among the Lay Counselors, runs the daily affairs.
In 2001, the Jewish Museum of Turkey was founded by the Quincentennial Foundation, an organisation established in 1982 consisting of 113 Turkish citizens, both Jews and Muslims, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Sephardic Jews to the Ottoman Empire.
The Turkish-Jewish population is experiencing a population decline, and has dwindled to 17,000 in a few years from an original figure of 23,000. This is due to both large-scale immigration to Israel out of fear of antisemitism, but also because of natural population decline. Currently, the community's death rate is more than twice that of its birth rate. Between September and April 2011, for example, 129 Turkish Jews died and only 60 were born.
According to researchers at Tel Aviv University, antisemitism in the media and books was creating a situation in which young, educated Turks formed negative opinions against Jews and Israel. However, violence against Jews has also occurred. In 2003, an Istanbul dentist was murdered in his clinic by a man who admitted that he committed the crime out of antisemitic sentiment. In 2009, a number of Jewish students suffered verbal abuse and physical attacks, and a Jewish soldier in the Turkish Army was assaulted.
The Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul has been attacked three times. First on 6 September 1986, Arab terrorists gunned down 22 Jewish worshippers and wounded 6 during Shabbat services at Neve Shalom. This attacked was blamed on the Palestinian militant Abu Nidal. The Synagogue was hit again during the 2003 Istanbul bombings alongside the Beth Israel Synagogue, killing 20 and injuring over 300 people, both Jews and Muslims alike. Even though a local Turkish militant group, the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders' Front, claimed responsibility for the attacks, police claimed the bombings were "too sophisticated to have been carried out by that group", with a senior Israeli government source saying: "the attack must have been at least coordinated with international terror organizations".
Traditionally, aliyah from Turkey to Israel has been low since the 1950s. Despite the antisemitism and occasional violence, Jews felt generally safe in Turkey. In the 2000s, despite surging antisemitism, including antisemitic incidents, aliyah remained low. In 2008, only 112 Turkish Jews emigrated, and in 2009, that number only rose to 250. However, in the aftermath of the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, antisemitism in Turkey increased and became more open, and it was reported that the community was also subjected to economic pressure. A boycott of Jewish businesses, especially textile businesses, took place, and Israeli tourists who had frequented the businesses of Turkish Jewish merchants largely stopped visiting Turkey. As a result, the number of Turkish Jews immigrating to Israel increased. By September 2010, the Jewish population of Turkey had dropped to 17,000, from a previous population of 23,000 Currently, the Jewish community is feeling increasingly threatened by extremists. In addition to safety concerns, some Turkish Jews also immigrated to Israel to find a Jewish spouse due to the increasing difficulty of finding one in the small Turkish Jewish community. In 2012, it was reported that the number of Jews expressing interest in moving to Israel rose by 100%, a large number of Jewish business owners were seeking to relocate their businesses to Israel, and that hundreds were moving every year.
In October 2013, it was reported that a mass exodus of Turkish Jews was underway. Reportedly, Turkish Jewish families are immigrating to Israel at the rate of one family per week on average, and hundreds of young Turkish Jews are also relocating to the United States and Europe.
Turkey and Israel
Turkey is among the first countries to formally recognize the State of Israel. Turkey and Israel have closely cooperated militarily and economically. Israel and Turkey have signed a multibillion-dollar project to build a series of pipelines from Turkey to Israel to supply gas, oil and other essentials to Israel. In 2003 the Arkadas Association was established in Israel. The Arkadas Association is a Turkish-Jewish cultural center in Yehud, aiming to preserve the Turkish-Jewish heritage and promote friendship (Arkadaş being the Turkish word for Friend) between the Israeli and Turkish people. In 2004, the Ülkümen-Sarfati Society was established by Jews and Turks in Germany. The society, named after Selahattin Ülkümen and Yitzhak Sarfati, aims to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue and wants to inform the public of the centuries of peaceful coexistence between Turks and Jews.
The various migrations outside of Turkey has produced descendants of Turkish Jews in Europe, Israel, United States, and Canada. Today, there are still various synagogues that maintain Jewish-Turkish traditions.
The Sephardic Synagogue Sephardic Bikur Holim in Seattle, Washington was formed by Jews from Turkey, and still uses Ladino in some portions of the Shabbat services. They created a siddur called Zehut Yosef, written by Hazzan Isaac Azose, to preserve their unique traditions.
In recent years, several hundred Turkish Jews, who have been able to prove that they are descended from Jews expelled from Portugal in 1497, have emigrated to Portugal and acquired Portuguese citizenship.
Notable Turkish Jews
||It has been suggested that this section be merged into List of Turkish Jews. (Discuss) Proposed since August 2015.|
- Ishak Alaton, co-founder of Alarko Holding
- Aaron Alfandari, writer.
- Solomon Eliezer Alfandari, Sephardic Rabbi.
- Can Bonomo, musician who represented Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan
- Abraham Salomon Camondo, Ottoman-Italian financier and philanthropist and the patriarch of the Camondo family
- Cemil Candas, politician killed during 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt aftermath.
- Moses Capsali, first Hakham Bashi (Turkish: Chief Rabbi) of the Ottoman Empire
- Uzeyir Garih, co-founder of Alarko Holding
- Umut Güzelses, Turkish-Israeli soccer player
- Ishak Haleva, current Hakham Bashi of Turkey
- Barzillai ben Baruch Jabez, talmudist
- Emanuel Karasu, Salonica-born Ottoman statesman
- Dario Moreno, Izmir-born musician
- Joseph Nasi, Portuguese Ottoman Trader and the first non-Muslim to be appointed to the rank of Sanjak-bey (governor)
- Haim Palachi, grand rabbi of Izmir
- Abraham Palacci, grand rabbi of Izmir
- Rahamim Nissim Palacci, grand rabbi of Izmir
- Joseph Palacci, rabbi of Izmir
- Mosè Piccio, lexicographer
- Izak Senbahar, American real estate developer
- Joseph Taitazak, Spanish-born Ottoman Rabbi and Kabbalist
- Sabbatai Zevi, Sephardic Rabbi and Kabbalist
- Israel Central Bureau of Statistics - Estimated numbers of Turkish born Jews in Israel (in Hebrew)
- "Turkey Virtual Jewish History Tour | Jewish Virtual Library". jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "Why Jews in Terror-stricken Turkey Aren’t Fleeing to Israel Yet". haaretz.com. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "Israel news from The Jerusalem Post". jpost.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Genesis 8:4
- Flavius Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews (Project Gutenberg eText, William Whiston trans., 2006), Chapter 1, Book 1.
- G. Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State
- For a sample of views, see J. Starr The Jews in the Byzantine Empire, 641–1204; S. Bowman, The Jews of Byzantium;, R. Jenkins Byzantium; Averil Cameron, "Byzantines and Jews: Recent Work on Early Byzantium", Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 20
- The Oxford History of Byzantium, C. Mango (ed.) (2002)
- International Jewish Cemetery Project – Turkey
- M. J. Akbar, "The shade of swords: jihad and the conflict between Islam and Christianity", 2003, (p. 89)
- The Black Death, Channel 4 – History.
- Inalcik, Halil. "The Policy of Mehmed II toward the Greek Population of Istanbul and the Byzantine Buildings of the City." Dumbarton Oaks Papers 23, (1969): 229–249.pg236
- Avigdor Levy; The Jews of the Ottoman Empire, New Jersey, (1994)
- J. Hacker, Ottoman policies towards the Jews and Jewish attitudes towards Ottomans during the Fifteenth Century in "Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire", New York (1982)
- "Letter of Rabbi Isaac Zarfati". turkishjews.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- B. Lewis, "The Jews of Islam", New York (1984), pp. 135 – 136
- H. Inalcik; The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300–1600, Phoenix Press, (2001)
- B. Lewis, The Jews of Islam, PUP, (1987) 137–141
- L. Stavrianos; The Balkans since 1453, NYU Press (2000)
- D. Quataert, The Ottoman Empire, 1700–1922, CUP, 2005
- Charles Issawi & Dmitri Gondicas; Ottoman Greeks in the Age of Nationalism, Princeton, (1999)
- Studies in Ottoman Social & Economic Life, Heidelberg, (1999); the essay is entitled: Muslims & Zimmis in the Ottoman culture and society by Haim Gerber, Jerusalem, (1999)
- Sidney Mendelssohn.The Jews of Asia: especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. (1920) p.241. "Long before the culmination of Sabbathai's mad career, Safed had been destroyed by the Arabs and the Jews had suffered severely, while in the same year (1660) there was a great fire in Constantinople in which they endured heavy losses..."
- Isidore Singer; Cyrus Adler (1912). The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. 12. Funk and Wagnalls. p. 283. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Franco, Moïse (1897). Essai sur l'histoire des Israélites de l'Empire ottoman: depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours. Librairie A. Durlacher. p. 88. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
Moins de douze ans après, en 1660, sous Mohammed IV, la ville de Safed, si importante autrefois dans les annales juives parce qu'elle était habitée exclusivement par les Israélites, fut détruite par les Arabes, au point qu'il n' y resta, dit une chroniquer une seule ame juive.
- Necati̇ Alkan, "Dissent and heterodoxy in the late Ottoman Empire: reformers, Babis and Baha'is", Press Isis, 2008.
- Michelle U. Campos, "Between "Beloved Ottomania" and"The Land of Israel": The Struggle over Ottomanism and Zionism Among Palestine’s Sephardi Jews, 1908–13", International Journal of Middle East Studies 37:461–483 (2005).doi:10.1017.S0020743805374010
- "Электронная еврейская энциклопедия - ЭЕЭ ®. The Society for Research on Jewish Communities, Jerusalem". eleven.co.il. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Klaus-Derlev GROTHUSEN, 1933 Yılından Sonra Alman Bilim Adamlarının Türkiye'ye göçü, Belleten, sayi 180 T.T.K Ankara s.537
- Rifat Bali, Yeni Bilgiler ve 1934 Trakya Oraylari-I, in Tarih ve Toplum 186/1999
- Faik Ökte, "The tragedy of the Turkish Capital Tax", Kent 1987
- "The New York Times | A Jewish Voice for Turkish democracy". nytimes.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "David Ben-Gurion". Jewishmag.com. 14 May 1948. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- Mallet, Laurent-Olivier (2008). La Turquie, les Turcs et les Juifs - Histoire, Représentations, Discours et Stratégies. Istanbul: Editions ISIS. p. not cited. ISBN 9754283559.
- "Brief History of Turkish Jews". science.co.il. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Journal of Turkish Weekly: Turkey and The Holocaust: Turkey’s Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933-1945". turkishweekly.net. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Shoah: Turkey, the US and the UK, page 5
- Shoah: Turkey, the US and the UK
- Bali, Rıfat N (2000). Bir Türkleştirme Serüveni (1923-1945): Cumhuriyet Yıllarında Türkiye Yahudileri (in Turkish). İletişim Yayınları. pp. 346–352. ISBN 978-975-470-763-2.
- Bali, R.N. (1999). Cumhuriyet yıllarında Türkiye Yahudileri: bir Türkleştirme serüveni (1923-1945). İletişim. ISBN 9789754707632. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Rubinstein, WD (2002) . The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Saved More Jews from the Nazis. London: Routledge. p. 249, n. 13. ISBN 113461568X.
- Rubinstein, W.D. (1999). The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Saved More Jews from the Nazis. Routledge. p. 249. ISBN 9780415212496. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Aytürk, İlker. "Aliya to Mandatory Palestine and Israel". Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. New York University. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
- Toktas, p. 507.
- Toktas, p. 508.
- Toktas, p. 508a.
- Toktas, p. 508b: "Turkey, having not recognized Israel immediately after its proclamation of statehood, suspended permits to emigrate there in November 1948, in response to objections from Arab countries. However, this restriction did not stop the emigration of Jews by illegal means."
- Toktas, p. 505-9:"However, the emigration of the Jews was not part of a government-mandated population exchange. On the contrary, the Jews immigrated to Israel of their own free will...In the great wave of 1948–51, a large majority of the emigrants came from the lower classes... These lower classes were less influenced by the Alliance Israelite Universelle schools and the republic’s modernizing trends... Even so, economic factors were the dominant theme among lower-class emigrants in their motivation to move."
- Toktas, p. 505:"The migration of Jews from Turkey to Israel is the second largest mass emigration movement out of Turkey, the first being labour migration to Europe. The largest mass emigration of minorities from Turkey was that of the Greeks during the Turkish–Greek population exchanges of the early 1920s."
- Toktas, p. 511:"After the emigration of 34,547 Turkish Jews to Israel in 1948–51, in the period up to 2001 another 27,473 made their way to the Jewish state... A total of 6,871 emigrants arrived in Israel in 1952–60, 4,793 in 1961–64, 9,280 in 1965–71, 3,118 in 19702–79, 2,088 in 1980–89, 1,215 in 1990–2000, and 108 in 2001.36 The migration figures then decrease greatly. Only 68 immigrants arrived in Israel in 2002, 53 in 2003 and just 52 in 2004."
- Toktas, Sule. "Cultural Identity, Minority Position and Immigration: Turkey's Jewish Minority vs. Turkish-Jewish Immigrants in Israel." Middle Eastern Studies 44.3 (2008): 511-25. Print.
- Toktas, p. 513.
- Dilek Güven, Nationalismus, Sozialer Wandel und Minderheiten: Die Ausschreitungen gegen die Nichtmuslime der Tuerkei (6/7 September 1955), Universitaet Bochum, 2006
- On the history of the Jews in Turkey from the multi-party period onward, see Rifat Bali, Model Citizens of the State: The Jews of Turkey during the Multi-Party Period. Lanham, MD: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press and Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2012.
- "Jewish Population of the World | Jewish Virtual Library". jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Head of tiny Jewish community in Turkey: There's no love between Israeli citizens - Features Israel News | Haaretz". haaretz.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "www.musevicemaati.com". musevicemaati.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "TURKEY - Turkey's Jewish community dwindling due to migration, death". hurriyetdailynews.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Helicke, James C. (15 November 2003). "Dozens killed as suicide bombers target Istanbul synagogues". The Independent. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- Arsu, Sebnem; Filkins, Dexter (16 November 2003). "20 in Istanbul Die in Bombings At Synagogues". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- Reeves, Phil (20 August 2002). "Mystery surrounds 'suicide' of Abu Nidal, once a ruthless killer and face of terror". The Independent. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- "Bombings at Istanbul Synagogues Kill 23". Fox News. 16 November 2003.
- "Official: Aliya from Turkey to double - Jewish World - Jerusalem Post". jpost.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Immigrating out of fear - Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews". ynetnews.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Chief Rabbinate of Turkey - Numbers: Total is estimated at around 23.000. The 25th community in size according to WJC data. Archived 5 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Turkish Jews Living Under Threat Of Extremism | Aliyah Magazine". Archived from the original on 2013-03-15. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Jews flee Turkey over anti-Semitism - Ynetnews. October 24, 2013
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- "Israel and Turkey plan energy pipeline | Israel | Jerusalem Post". Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "| Qantara.de - Dialogue with the Islamic World". qantara.de. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Ülkümen-Sarfarti-Gesellschaft e.V.". ulkumen-sarfati.de. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jews in Turkey.|
- Toktas, Sule (2006), "Turkey’s Jews and Their Immigration to Israel" (PDF), Middle Eastern Studies, 42 (3)
- Chief Rabbinate of Turkey
- Arkadash The Turkish Jewsish Community in Israel
- History of the Jews in Turkey
- Desperate Hours (Docementary film on Turkish diplomats who risked their lives to save Turkish Jews from the Shoah)
- The Jewish Virtual Library Entry for Turkey
- Jewish Turkey
- Şalom – the main newspaper of the Jewish community of Turkey
- Sephardic Studies
- New Sefer Torah for the Istanbul Community: In Memory of Jews Murdered in the 2003 Istanbul Synagogue Bombings – November 2006
- The Sephardic Pizmonim Project
- "Hayalet Evler: Türk-Yahudi Mimarisinden Örnekler", Beyaz Arif Akbas,Ekim 2012, YGY, ISBN 978-1480206502
- In particular on the history of Istanbul Jewry after the fall of the Byzantine Empire, see M. Rosen, Studies in the History of Istanbul Jewry, 1453-1923 (Diaspora, 2), Turnhout, 2015