Jewish people in Turkey eyeing move to Spain: NYT

Jewish people in Turkey eyeing move to Spain: NYT

Jewish people in Turkey eyeing move to Spain: NYT

AP Photo

Many Sephardic Jews in Turkey are now applying for Spanish citizenship in anticipation of a parliamentary bill expected to pass this month in Madrid, which would grant nationality to Jewish people who were expelled in 1492, during the Inquisition, according to a report by the New York Times on May 27. 

“There are many reasons to leave, a lack of work opportunities, growing polarization within society and oppressive leadership. But the hatred toward our community has been the tipping point for me,” the U.S. newspaper quoted Rafi, 25, a graphic designer based in Istanbul, as saying. 

Rafi provided only his first name out of fear of harassment by Turkish nationalists, the NYT said. “There is no future here,” he was quoted as saying. 

“Most are seeking visa-free travel within Europe and an opportunity to escape what they see as rising anti-Semitism in Turkey,” the newspaper said. 

The NYT also quoted Selin Nasi, a columnist for Jewish weekly Salom, who said Turkey had taken some positive symbolic steps to improve relations with Jews.

“If anything, our community has been embraced and respected,” said Leon Ennekave, 70, the president of the Bursa Jewish Foundation in the northwestern province, as quoted by the NYT.