Devletin Örnek Yurttaşları

This study focuses on the last half of the 20th century, spanning the 53 year period between the first fully democratic transfer of political power in Turkey-the Democratic Party electoral victory on May 14, 1950-to the two synagogue attacks in in Istanbul on November 15, 2003. Turkey's Jewish community entered this period with much optimism, fed up with as it was with the Republican People's Party and the authoritarian and discriminatory policies that had characterized its nearly three decades in power, but the mood of optimism and joy has over the decades-and especially in the wake of the synagogue attacks--turned to one of anger, irritation and concern. What were the principal difficulties and problems that this community has faced over this 53-year period? How-if at all--have they been able to contend with them, and with what results? How has the Turkish public and polity responded to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian Question and the various regional wars that have occurred during this period, and how has been manifested in the country's attitude toward and treatment of its Jewish community? Why after having followed for more than six decades a policy of "invisibility", staying far from the public and political spheres in order to live largely undisturbed, did the leadership of the Jewish community opt to establish the Quincentennial Foundation and become "visible"? What was the purpose of this institution? Why did this leadership suddenly choose to involve itself actively and publicly in the "Armenian Genocide" issue? What were the social, political and economic conditions that both allowed and caused prominent community members to take on crucial roles-including honorary ambassadorships--in Turkey's foreign relations? Why has Turkey's establishment chosen its Jewish community to hold up as "model citizens"? This study will attempt, on the basis of thorough research in the archives and press in both Turkey and abroad, to answer these questions.

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