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Turkey and the Jews of Europe During WW II

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Kerem, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Kerem

    Kerem Member

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    During WW II, Turkey helped more than 100.000 jews to avoid Holocaust. I've done some research on the net here is a summary;

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    From European Sephardic Institute (The whole story is in the link)

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    .........."The Turkish consuls in Greece, at Athens, Salonica and Gümülcine as well as on the islands of Midilli and Rhodes provided the same sort of assistance that the Turkish consuls did in France, also organizing boats to carry Jews to safety in Turkey and intervening with the Germans to exempt Turkish Jews from persecution and extermination. The most outstanding example of this came with the activities of Consul Selahattin Ülkümen in Rhodes, who got the Nazis to spare the Turkish Jews on the island, andwho as a result was subsequently imprisoned by the Nazis after his consulate was bombed and his pregnant wife killed by the Germans. The Turkish guards on the Greek-Turkish border allowed Jews coming from Greece as well as Bulgaria to enter turkey even though most of them had no papers at all. Camps were set up for them near Edirne, and ultimately they were allowed to pass on to Istanbul, and, for most of them, to join the other refugees doing by small boats from the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey to Palestine"..............
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    ............."While six million Jews were being exterminated by the Nazis, the rescue of some 15,000 Turkish Jews from France, and even of some 100,000 Jews from Eastern Europe might well be considered as relatively insignificant in comparison. It was, however, very significant to the people who were rescued, and above all it showed that, as had been the case for more than five centuries, Turks and Jews continued to help each other in times of great crises"


    STANFORD J. SHAW
    Professor of Turkish History
    Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

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    From The Jewish Virtual Library

    "During World War II, Turkey served as a safe passage for many Jews fleeing the horrors of the Nazism. While the Jewish communities of Greece were wiped out almost completely by Hitler, the Turkish Jews remained secure. Several Turkish diplomats, Ambassadors Behic Erkin and Numan Menemencioglu; Consul Generals Fikret Sefik Ozdoganci, Bedii Arbel, Selahattin Ulkumen; Consuls Namik Kemal Yolga and Necdet Kent, just to name a few, spent all their efforts to save from the Holocaust the Turkish Jews in those countries, and succeeded.9 Mr. Salahattin Ulkumen, Consul General at Rhodes in 1943-1944, has been recognized by the Yad Vashem as a Righteous Gentile ("Hassid Umot ha'Olam") in June 1990. Turkey continues to be a shelter, a haven for all those who have to flee dogmatism, intolerance and persecution."
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    From http://www.jsites.net/stamps/ulkumen.html (This stamp sheet was issued by Israel to remember those righteous gentiles from around the world who helped Jews during the Holocaust.)

    "Selahattin Ulkumen was a 30-year-old Turkish consul-general on the island of Rhodes which was under German occupation. In late July 1944, the Germans began the deportation of the island’s 1,700 Jews. Ulkumen managed to save approximately 50 Jews, 13 of them Turkish citizens, the rest with some Turkish connection. In protecting those who were not Turkish citizens, he clearly acted on his own initiative. In one case, survivor Albert Franko was on a transport to Auschwitz from Piraeus. Whilst still in Greek territory, he was taken off the train thanks to the intervention of Ulkumen, who was informed that Franko’s wife was a Turkish citizen. Another survivor, Matilda Toriel relates that she was a Turkish citizen living in Rhodes and married to an Italian citizen. On July 18, 1944, all the Jews were told to appear at Gestapo headquarters the following day. As she prepared to enter the building, Ulkumen approached her and told her not to go in. It was the first time she had ever met him. He told her to wait until he had managed to release her husband. As her husband later told her, Ulkumen requested that the Germans release the Turkish citizens and their families, who numbered only 15 at the time. However, Ukumen added another 25-30 people to the list whom he knew had allowed their citizenship to lapse. The Gestapo, suspecting him, demanded to see their papers, which they did not have. Ulkumen however returned to the Gestapo building, insisting that according to Turkish law, spouses of Turkish citizens were considered to be citizens themselves, and demanded their release. Matilda later discovered that no such law existed, and that Ulkumen had simply fabricated it in order to save the Jews. In the end, all those on Ulkumen’s list were released. All the rest of the Jews on the island, some 1,700, were deported to Auschwitz. In reprisal, the Nazi authorities bombed Ulkumen's house, fatally injuring his pregnant wife"


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  2. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    I was wondering why the IAF sends most of it's aircraft to Turkey for heavy maintance. It did not make sense to me that a Jewish country would send it's military stuff off to a mostly Islamic country to be repaired.

    Thanks for the information !
    [​IMG]
     
  3. downfall1983

    downfall1983 Member

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    Here.. Here..
     
  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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  5. Kerem

    Kerem Member

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    You are all wellcome. Turkey is Israel's only ally in the region, however there is a rising anger against Israel because of its attitude against Lebanon and Palestine. I hope this anger stays as a reaction against Israeli Government, not jewish people. There are 26.000 jews living in Turkey.

    Btw, IAF also send pilots to Turkey to get flight experience since Israel doesn't have enough airspace. And Turkey sends jets (F-4) and tanks (M 60) to Israel to get them modernized.
     
  6. turkishwolf

    turkishwolf Childish Member

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    Its like a dejavu.
    As in Spain in 1492.
    I think everybody knows how ottoman saved jews and arabs in 1492 in Spain against to christian unity.
    So it happend again in ww2
     

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