Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Aliya to Mandatory Palestine and Israel
(929 words)

From Hitler’s rise to power in Germany to the end of World War II, Turkey provided a safe haven for Jews fleeing Europe. The Turkish government invited and employed German scientists and scholars of Jewish origin who had been sacked by German universities. As a nonbelligerent, Turkey was an island of stability at a time of chaos and turmoil in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus, and this explains why very few Turkish Jews left the country for Palestine during those years.

According to the 1945 census, the total number of Jewish citizens of Turkey was 76,965. Althoug…

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İlker Aytürk, “Aliya to Mandatory Palestine and Israel”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 05 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0001450>
First published online: 2010

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