Key figure of Turkish Jews laid to rest
Bensiyon Pinto, the former and honorary chair of the Turkish Jewish Community, was laid to rest yesterday following a funeral ceremony held at the Ulus Ashkenazi Jewish Cemetery on Istanbul’s European side.
Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, former Prime Minister Tansu Çiller and Turkish Jewish Community co-chair Erol Kohen attended the ceremony along with the Pinto family, members of the Jewish community in Turkey and dozens of mourners.
Chief Rabbi Isak Haleva accompanied the ceremony online due to his self-isolation because he tested positive for COVID-19.
“His service to our country and society as a true patriot who makes extraordinary efforts for Turkey’s well-being and progress will never be forgotten,” Haleva said, noting that he had known Pinto for nearly 60 years.
Hayim Pinto, the son of the deceased, also made a speech in which he emphasized that his father never shunned honesty and helpfulness.
After the prayers, Pinto was buried in the nearby Arnavutköy Jewish Cemetery.