Historical synagogue to become library
Restoration works at the Historical Esgher Synagogue in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district will be finished soon. The historical building will serve as the Beyoğlu Municipality Hasköy Youth Center and National Library.
The synagogue, located on the shore next to the Golden Horn, served as a hookah cafe for years. Restoration works carried out in the interior of the historical building have been completed. On the outside, flooring and landscaping work still continues.
Beyoğlu Mayor Haydar Ali Yıldız said the historical building, which will open soon, will become one of the new meeting points for young people in Hasköy, which is known as center for student life, with its wide range of library, reading and hanging out areas.
Stating that they also made talks with the Jewish community about the restoration of Esgher Synagogue, Yıldız said they took steps about the project taking into consideration their views.
He previously noted that the synagogue will be restored in a way that is reminiscent of a past time and similar to its original state.
“We don’t want this identity to be lost. Benefiting from the library service of this place, young people will know that this place was a synagogue before. I regret to say that this place had been operated as a hookah cafe for years. As a Muslim, I don’t approve of smoking hookah in a temple, no matter what temple it is,” Yıldız said.