Film to vaunt Turkish ‘tolerance’ as Jews vanish

Turkey is supporting the production of a film designed to show how ‘tolerant’ the country has been historically towards Jews. The filming is being done in Edirne, where the synagogue was recently restored. Cynics might point out that if the country is so tolerant, why does only one Jew still live in the city? Report in Jewish News: (with thanks Michelle) :

Edirne synagogue, restored in 2015

Producers of an American TV show are filming in Turkey for a series that will tell the little-known story of Ottoman Jews from the time of the Spanish Inquisition in 1492 to the present.

Air Land & Sea will chart the lives of the Jewish families who settled in Turkey at the invitation of Sultan Bayezid II after Jews who refused to convert to Christianity were expelled from Spain.

Filming, which is being done with the support of Turkey’s government, has so far included Istanbul and the province of Edirne in the north-west, which was once the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

The show’s host, Brad Pomerance,  saw the historic and recently refurbished Great Synagogue of Edirne – the third largest synagogue in Europe. “It just goes to show you how Turkey continues to be a tolerant country that welcomes people of all faiths,” he said.

Noting the country’s population is 99 percent Muslim, he added: “I have felt incredibly welcomed as a Jewish American documenting the story of Jews in Turkey.”

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