Ana içeriğe atla

With Police at Our Schools and Road Blocks at Our Shuls, We Turkish Jews Soldier On

I've been asked a lot lately how we Jews cope in Turkey with the recent surge in terrorism. The answer isn't clear cut.

As a Turkish Jew, a woman, and a journalist covering the Middle East, I am often asked about anti-Semitism, freedom of the press and the difficulties facing women in Turkey. Recently, a new question has been added to the list: “How do you cope with the terror attacks?”
The recent surge in terrorism has been shocking by all means. Especially when foreign missions – like Israel – issue travel warnings about imminent attacks, and when reports surface that the Islamic State seeks to target Israelis and Jews.
Remembering the recent attacks on Jews in Europe – the kosher market in Paris, the Jewish museum in Belgium, the Grand Synagogue in Denmark and the Jewish school in Toulouse – makes us even more wary. And when three Israelis were killed along with one Iranian in Istanbul last month, the terror felt ever closer to home.

When Sky News reported that Islamic State is planning an attack on Jewish schools in Turkey, it sent shivers through our community. Most parents at my children's school preferred to keep their kids at home for several days, even though the school has had extensive protection for years. Some parents in the Greek community chose not to send their children to school, too, fearing ISIS might be a threat to all minorities, and the German school closed for a week, after receiving a warning.
We try to continue with our daily lives and adapt ourselves to this new situation. Yet, although the children are now back at school, the buses of armed policemen outside the school and the road blocks near our cultural institutions and synagogues, checking suspicious pedestrians and vehicles, remind us that these are difficult times.
While we, the parents, try to keep calm and rationalize the situation, our children are not so skilled. Last week, my 11-year-old son said, “I know that our school is secure, but what I don’t understand is that the terrorists don’t want to kill the police; they want to kill us."
"Why?" he asked. "What did we do to them? What did I do to them?”
I found myself explaining to him, and his seven-year-old brother, that some people prefer to attack civilians to send a message to the world.
Being Jewish in a Muslim-majority country can appear difficult to those who read the results of anti-Semitism surveys and hear the hateful remarks by public figures published in the press. But at present, physical attacks on minorities are relatively low in Turkey, especially compared to Europe.
On the other hand, Turkish Jews have developed a protective shield to guarantee our tranquil life. We avoid wearing religious symbols on the street and practice our customs privately. Our shrinking community of 18,000 tries to keep a low profile.
For those of us who would like to see the relations between Turkey and Israel return to the golden days – when they worked to build peace in the region – the normalization negotiations that have reportedly been nearing a deal of late are a source of hope for us all. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's meeting with American Jewish groups in an effort to push this process of normalization forward is a positive step in this climate.

Karel Valansi is a political columnist and former World News editor for Shalom Newspaper, Turkey. She is currently working on her thesis on Turkish-Israeli relations at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. She tweets at @karelvalansi and blogs at www.karelvalansi.com

Karel Valansi Haaretz 21 April 2016
http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/jewish-world-opinions/.premium-1.715610

Yorumlar

Bu blogdaki popüler yayınlar

Unutmayacağız

Unutmayacağız... Bu sözü ne kadar da çok tekrarlıyoruz. Oysa çok değil birkaç yıl sonra her şey gibi o unutulmaz denen şey de unutuluyor. Zamanın akışına bırakılıyor. Bir tek anne-babalar, eşler, çocuklar hatırlıyor, acısını en derinde hissediyor. Bir tek onlar için o yangın devam ediyor. Ateş bir tek düştüğü yeri yakıyor. Bu söz bir kere de hatalı çıksın istiyorum, olmuyor, çıkmıyor. Bu sene 15 Kasım’da bir yazı aradı gözlerim. Ama kuru kuru bir haber değildi istediğim, bulamadım. Fark ettim ki  bu konuyla ilgili sosyal medyada paylaşabileceğim yazılar ya daha önce kendi yazdıklarım, ya Şalom Gazetesi’nde çıkanlar, ya da geçen sene ben dahil dört kişiyle röportaj yapan Agos’un söyleşisiydi. Bu kadar. Aradan geçen 13 sene, 15 ve 20 Kasım saldırılarının vahşetini, korkunçluğunu, kayıplarını unutturmuş olmalı.  Çok daha önemli görülen konular olmalı ki, El Kaide terör örgütünün İstanbul’un göbeğine gerçekleştirdiği bu saldırılar konuşulmadan, kurbanları anılmadan geçilebiliyor. Ya

Prof. İnbar: “Barışçıl bir Ortadoğu görmeyeceğiz”

İbrahim Anlaşması'nın (Abraham Accord) imzalanması, istikrarsız Ortadoğu'da yaşanan bir hayli önemli bir gelişme. Prof. Dr. Efraim Inbar ile İsrail'in bu konudaki duruşunu ve Türkiye-İsrail ilişkisinin geleceğini konuştuk. Prof. Inbar, Kudüs Stratejik Araştırmalar Enstitüsü'nün (Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, JISS) başkanı ve Bar-Ilan Üniversitesi'nde siyaset bilimi öğretim üyesidir. Prof. Inbar, 23 yıl boyunca Begin-Sedat Stratejik Araştırmalar Merkezi'nin (BESA) kurucu direktörü görevindeydi. Ortadoğu stratejik sorunları, İsrail-Filistin diplomasisi ve Türkiye-İsrail ilişkileri konularında uzmanlaşmış olan Prof. Inbar ŞALOM’un sorularını cevapladı.   Geçtiğimiz salı günü tarihi bir ana tanıklık ettik. İsrail ile Birleşik Arap Emirlikleri (BAE) ve İsrail ile Bahreyn arasında imzalanan barış anlaşmalarını nasıl değerlendirirsiniz? İlk söyleyeceğim bunun sıcak bir barış olduğu. Halklar arasında iletişim var ve malların dolaşımı mevcut. Böyle bir ilişk

“We are Beyond What I Had Dreamed of When I Moved to Dubai”

Cem Habib  We talked about how the peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates affected the Jewish life in the Emirates, with the investment manager Cem Habib, who has been living in Dubai since 2016, and who is one of the founding members of the Jewish Council of Emirates (JCE), the first officially recognized Jewish community of the UAE. How long have you been living in Dubai? What influenced you in deciding to live here? I moved to Dubai in 2016, before I had been living in London. My customer base at that time was in Kazakhstan and it had gotten harder commuting there from London every month after 6 years. There were three direct flights between Dubai and Kazakhstan, every day, with a flight time of less than 4 hours. To improve our quality of life and to spend more time with the kids, we moved to Dubai. When moving, how could you overcome the thought “As a Jew, will I be comfortable living in an Arab country with my family?” I talked to my friends from different countri