Menu JTA Search

Report 2,000 Turkish Jews Given Permission to Emigrate to Israel; Policy Shift Seen

A report that 2,000 Turkish Jews have been granted permission to emigrate to Israel within the past few days was published by the New York Times today. Since the establishment of the Jewish state, only 500 exit visas have been issued to Jews in Turkey, the dispatch from Istanbul said.

According to the report, the sudden increase in exit visas resulted from government orders to the political. section of the Istanbul police to put no obstacle in the way of Jews seeking to emigrate to Israel. Hitherto, Jewish emigration from Turkey to Israel has been on a small scale and most of it has been clandestine because of the Turkish Government’s desire to maintain friendly relations with the Arabs. The Times report said that as a result of the new policy, at least 10,000 of the country’s 70,000 Jews will be enabled to emigrate to Israel.

A consideration which may influence the Turkish Government’s future policy towards its Jewish population and towards Israel is the fact that since its establishment, Israel has been Turkey’s leading buyer of exports, while trade with the Arab countries has never been extensive.