THE HISTORY OF TURKISH JEWS
On the midnight of August 2nd 1492, when Columbus embarked on what would become his most famous expedition to the New World, his fleet departed from the relatively unknown seaport of Palos because the shipping lanes of Cadiz and Seville were clogged with Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain by the Edict of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain.
The Jews forced either to convert to Christianity or to "leave" the country under menace "they dare not return... not so much as to take a step on them not trespass upon them in any manner whatsoever" left their land, their property, their belongings all that was theirs and familiar to them rather than abandon their beliefs, their. traditions, their heritage. Click for More Information
The Jewish Community is of course a very small group in Turkey today, considering that the total population - 99% Muslim - exceeds 67 million. But in spite of their number the Jews have distinguished themselves. There are several Jewish professors teaching at the Universities of Istanbul and Ankara, and many Turkish Jews are prominent in business, industry, liberal professions and journalism.(1) Mark Alan Epstein, "The Ottoman Jewish Communities and their role in the 15th and 16th centuries"
(2) Joseph Nehama, "Histoire des Israelites de Salonique"
(3) Bernard Lewis, "The Jews of Islam"
(4) Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume 16 page 1532
(5) Avram Galante, "Histoire des Juifs d'lstanbul", Volume 2
(6) Abraham Danon, Review Yossef Daath No.4
(7) Immanual Aboab, "A Consolacam as Tribulacoes de Israel, III Israel"
(8) H. Graetz, "History of the Jews’’