Turkish Jewish businessmen flee knife-wielding restaurateur


(JTA) — Two Turkish Jewish businessmen fled a restaurant in Turkey after being threatened by its knife-wielding owner in an anti-Semitic incident.

The details of the attack, which were first published by the Algemeiner and Arutz-7 websites on Monday, based on an email from the victims, were confirmed to JTA by staff at Salom, a Jewish community newspaper in Turkey.

The businessmen were visiting clients in the Babaeski region in northwest Turkey and stopped at a fish restaurant for lunch.  The restaurant owner reportedly realized they were Jewish and began shouting anti-Semitic epithets and saying he would not serve the men, according to reports.

The owner then reportedly came after the men with a doner blade — a large, sword-like knife for cutting meat. The men fled the restaurant.

“We started running for our lives,” the email reportedly said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July called Israel a “crime against humanity.” Erdogan later apologized for the remark to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call.

Anti-Semitic incitement in Turkey reportedly has increased since the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident in which nine Turkish nationals were killed in clashes with Israeli troops.

Approximately 15,000 Jews are living in Turkey.

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