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Turkish Parliament Rejects Jewish Appeal on Discriminatory Tax

February 4, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Turkish National Assembly turned down a 10-year effort by Leon Taranto, a Jewish businessman in Turkey, to recover some 2,000,000 Turkish lira which he had to pay under the discriminatory 1942 “varlik,” the tax on minorities, which has since been abolished.

Mr. Taranto, who was assessed for the highest sum under the “varlik,” was compelled to sell his factory to a Turkish company for a fraction of its true value in order to comply with the demands of the tax authorities. In 1945 he began a legal campaign to recover his property from the Turkish company which now owns it.

After several years of litigation, the courts turned him down. He subsequently charged high court officials and former Justice Minister Halil Ozyuruk with partisanship against him, and appealed to the assembly to set up a commission of inquiry. After several commissions had heard his story, the assembly turned him down.

During the final debate, the present Justice Minister, Osman Sevki Cicekdeg, declared that there was no use in discussing the merits of the case because it had been ruled upon by the Court of Appeals. At the same time, he invited Mr. Taranto to come to his office and “disclose all he knows,” pledging assistance if Mr. Taranto could prove his charges.

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