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Monday, July 24, 2017

YNet reports:

Two threatening demonstrations and mounting cases of vandalism against synagogues in Turkey—apparently carried out with the regime's tacit support against the backdrop of the Temple Mount crisis—are raising concerns among the country's Jewish community.

On the night between Thursday and Friday, dozens of demonstrators attacked the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, threw rocks at the synagogue, kicked its doors and tried to break in.

Some protesters shouted, "If you do not let us enter our holy place, we will not let you enter your holy place."

The Jewish community was stunned that the police patrol car—which regularly protected the synagogue as it is a target for terror attacks—had left the area shortly before the demonstration started.

On Saturday, the ancient 15th century Ahrida synagogue in Balat, Istanbul was also attacked. As in the first case, the police car also left before the demonstration began, and the demonstrators charged the synagogue, blocking entry and chanting anti-Israel slogans.

The fact that the police left the area in both cases may indicate that the demonstrations were held with the quiet consent of the authorities, which made it possible to "let out steam" against the Jews.
However, Turkish leader Erdogan condemned the actions, as did some members of the parliament, even as they continued to blame Israel for its actions to secure lives:

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan harshly slammed the attack on the Neve Shalom synagogue by an ultra-nationalist group. The group had claimed the protest was a response to the restrictions on the al-Aqsa mosque.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport before heading to Saudi Arabia on July 23, Erdoğan said rights violations in Jerusalem may never be grounds for Muslims to violate the rights of others.

“We are members of a deeply rooted civilization that has provided peaceful coexistence to all religions, especially Jerusalem [sic], for centuries. The violations of rights in Jerusalem should never be a reason for Muslims to violate the rights of others. Reactions must be measured in the framework of the law,” he said.

Erdoğan also highlighted the importance of freedom of worship.

“To harm the freedom of worship of those who are members of other religions and their place of worship has no place in our society. Based on this understanding, we are putting forth efforts to ease the tensions in Jerusalem at once and for peace to return around Masjid al-Aqsa once again,” he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also criticized the synagogue protest, calling for restraint.

“We are inheritors of a civilization that regards differences as richness without discriminating against religion, sect, language and race. For this reason, we do not approve of the actions against the worship of our Jewish citizens, we call on our citizens to practice self-restraint,” he said on the Prime Ministry’s official Twitter account.
Here is video of the Neve Shalom attack.





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