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Turkey Recognizes Jews’ Full Equality, Istanbul Mayor Says

February 11, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Turkish Government considers the Jews of Turkey equal to all other citizens and will not permit any discriminatory action against them, Fahrettin K. Gokay, Mayor of Istanbul, declared at exercises dedicating the new rabbinical seminary opened at the nearby suburb of Haskoy.

Mayor Gokay, alluding to the discrimination suffered by the Jews and other minorities during the late war, said that those days were gone forever. He insisted that when the government referred to the Jews as a minority it meant to distinguish the Jews as a religious group and not as a separate segment of Turkish society. He asserted that a basic tenet of the present government is the granting of full religious liberty and the creation of an atmosphere of brotherhood among all citizens in Turkey and all nations in the world.

The cremonies were attended by high government officials, headed by representatives of the Ministry of Public Education, representatives of the Christian churches in Turkey and some 300 leading Jews of this city. Chief Rabbi Raphael Saban recited a special prayer for the success of the seminary’s activities.

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