Turkey’s Jews unfazed by Islamic election victory

Turkish Jews are not worried by the victory of the AKP, Turkey’s Islamic party, in the recent elections. Turkey is not Iran, Ynet news reports:(with thanks: Albert)

ISTANBUL – “We do not fear the Islamization of Turkey. Even during the Ottoman Empire the Sultan was very congenial to the Jews, so we do not fear for Jewish life here,” said Silvio Ovadia, president of Turkey’s Jewish community, to Ynet on Tuesday.

In a special interview following the general elections in Turkey, Ovadia said he was not overly concerned about the country’s immediate future: “Turkey is not Iran; we do not have Mullahs here. There are indeed religious communities, but that it not the same. They are far more modern than Iran, and as opposed to the situation in Iran, the secular sector in Turkey is very strong.”

“Besides,” said Ovadia, “(Prime Minister Recep) Erdoğan’s ruling party, AKP, doesn’t think it is so strong that it can change the day-to-day agenda in Turkey. Unlike Iran, we don’t have oil or gas, so we depend on other nations and that makes us much more vulnerable.

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More analysis on Isranet briefing, 26 July 2007

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