Turkish President Receives Chief Rabbi; Assures Jews of Friendship

Chief Rabbi Raphael Saban, accompanied by a delegation of Jewish communal leaders, was received by President Djelal Bayar of the Turkish Republic who assured the Jewish leaders of his sympathy to Jews. This was the first visit paid by the Chief Rabbi since his recent election to the post of the highest spiritual leader of the Jewish community.

The Chief Rabbi was also received by the Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and by the President of the Turkish National Assembly. He discussed with these officials some of the major problems of the Jewish community requiring an early solution.

Among the problems discussed was the present status of the Grand Rabbinate’s Council, which still operates under old legislation introduced by the Ottoman Empire 80 years ago. The question was also raised regarding the legal position of assets belonging to the Jewish community in Turkey. Under a new law, not specifically aimed at Jews, the Jewish organizations are at present deprived of their properties. The authorities have displayed interest in the arguments presented by the Chief Rabbi and promised to deal with the matters which he raised.

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