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History of the Jews in Turkey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The history of the Jews in Turkey (Turkish: Türk Yahudileri or Türk Musevileri; Hebrew: יהודים טורקים, romanized: Yehudim Turkim; Ladino: Djudios Turkos) covers the 2400 years that Jews have lived in what is now Turkey.

Quick facts: Total population, Regions with significant po...
Turkish Jews
Türk Yahudileri / Türk Musevileri
יהודים טורקים
Djudios Turkos / Cudios Turkos
Total population
est. 330,000450,000
Regions with significant populations
Flag_of_Israel.svg Israel280,000[1]
Flag_of_Turkey.svg Turkey14,500 (2022)[2][3][4][5]
Flag_of_the_United_States.svg United States16,000[citation needed]
Flag_of_Canada_%28Pantone%29.svg Canada8,000[citation needed]
Hebrew (in Israel), Turkish, Judaeo-Spanish, English, French, Greek, Yevanic (extinct), Levantine Arabic[6] Kurdish[7]
Related ethnic groups
Jews, Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Spanish Jews, Greek Jews

There have been Jewish communities in Anatolia since at least the beginning of the common era. Anatolia's Jewish population before Ottoman times primarily consisted of Greek-speaking Romaniote Jews, with a handful of dispersed Karaite communities. In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, many Sephardic Jews from Spain, Portugal and South Italy expelled by the Alhambra Decree found refuge across the Ottoman Empire, including in regions now part of Turkey.

By the end of the sixteenth century, the Jewish population in the Ottoman Empire was double (150,000) that of Jews in Poland and Ukraine combined (75,000), far surpassing other Jewish communities to be the largest in the world.[8][9] This influx played a pivotal role in shaping the predominant identity of Ottoman Jews.[10]

Jews are one of the four ethnic minorities officially recognized in Turkey, together with Armenians, Greeks,[11][12][13] and Bulgarians.[14][15][16] Today, the vast majority of Turkish Jews live in Israel, though Turkey itself still has a modest Jewish population, where the vast majority live in Istanbul, and the remainder in İzmir.

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