ISTANBUL (Sep. 23)
Thirty-four Greek nationals, including 24 Jews, were called to the police department today and ordered to leave Turkey within a few hours. No reason was given for the advanced deadline, and their request for an extension of a few days was rejected. Earlier this month, the 34 persons had been ordered to leave Turkey by the first week of October, and had been preparing themselves accordingly. Initially, it was reported that the 34 all were Jews.
Nine of the Jews left at noon for Israel, eight by air and one by boat. The rest left for Athens. They were allowed to take with them only their personal belongings. Only two of the Jews leaving for Israel were accompanied by their wives. The others left families whose members were Turkish citizens. The expulsion order, which the police said was an official Government ruling, specified that the 34 could never return to Turkey.
The Istanbul press reported yesterday that the reason for the expulsion was “activities detrimental to national interests.” The expulsion today brought to about 8,400 the number of Greek nationals, many of them Jews, ousted from Turkey or who have left voluntarily as a result of the Turkish-Greek conflict in Cyprus.
It had been charged that the 24 Jews had contributed “large sums” to local Greek clubs which the Turkish authorities had shut down several years ago. However, the newspaper Hurriyet reported that the Jews had been obliged to contribute to the clubs as a “sort of tax” to extend their passports. The Greek Jewish nationals also were charged with allegedly smuggling large sums of money out of Turkey.
Greek Jews previously had been exempt from the Government decision to expel Greek nationals, which went into effect last year. The Greek Jews had been allowed to remain and to work, although their capital and assets, like those of other Greek nationals, were blocked by the Government. The expulsion today deepened fears of the 100 remaining Greek Jews that they also will be expelled in the apparent Turkish drive to oust all Greek nationals, Jewish and Christian.