Vandalism at Turkish cemetery an ongoing problem

Officials have condemned the desecration of graves at the Hasköy cemetery in Istanbul, according to the Jerusalem Post. This article reveals that vandalism, robbery and intrusion has been an ongoing problem for the cemetery, has a busy highway running alongside. The cemetery houses the mausoleum of the prominent Camondo banking family. (Update: The Daily Sabah reports that the culprits, five children between 11 and 13, have been caught.)

The scene at the Hasköy Jewish cemetery last week

Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman on behalf of Turkey’s President has condemned the vandalism in the Jewish cemetery, calling it a “heinous attack.”

“We will never allow those who attack sacred values to try and sow seeds of strife and enmity in our society,” Kalin added.

The Ashkenazi rabbi of Turkey, Rabbi Mendy Chitrik, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday that he was sure that “the Jewish community in Turkey, headed by Chief Rabbi Hakham Bashi, Rabbi Ishak Haleva, together with the Turkish authorities, will deal with the issue in the best way, and ensure that such cases do not happen again.”

Chitrik explained that the cemetery in question is 600 years old and is located in the center of Istanbul, with a main highway now cutting through and above it.

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