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Louis Marshall’s Criticism Stirs Turkish Jews; Leader Replies

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The criticism of Louis Marshall, president of the American Jewish Committee, of the act of the Turkish Jewish notables, members of the Jewish National Assembly of Turkey, in renouncing the claim of Turkish Jewry to the national minorities rights guaranteed to it under the reaty of Lausanne, found wide echo among Turkish Jews.

Mr. Marshall’s accusation of cowardice directed against the Turkish Jewish notables has created consternation in the Turkish Jewish community.

Gad Franco, well known Turkish-Jewish lawyer and former president of the Jewish Communities in Turkey, when interviewed by the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency took exception to the statement of Mr. Marshall.

“While I regret the immoderate and certainly unmerited terms used by Mr. Marshall in his criticism of the act of Turkish Jewish leaders, I can only attribute this to Mr. Marshall’s desire to defend the Turkish Jews from themselves, although Mr. Marshall apparently knows little of the present actual conditions of Jewish life in Turkey,” Mr. Franco stated.

Mr. France expressed the opinion that the Jews of Turkey have renounced their minority rights guaranteed by the Treaty of Lausanne but not unconditionally. “These rights have no longer any legal standing in Turkey in view of the recent decision of the Turkish government to apply the Swiss code, which recognizes the equality of all Turkish citizens irrespective of race or creed.” Mr. France added that the bill concerning the status of the Jewish communities in Turkey, of which he was one of the authors, contains the request of Turkish Jewish leaders to the government for certain counter guarantees of Jewish prerogatives and rights. Mr. France further expressed the hope that this new information will induce Mr. Marshall and others who believe that the Jews of Turkey have been betrayed to revise their opinion.

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