ADL Outraged at Turkish Threat to Turn Synagogue Into a Museum

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Screenshot from of the historical Büyük Synagogue.

The Anti-Defamation League expressed outrage Sunday at a threat by a Turkish governor to turn a century-old synagogue into a museum, as a punishment for Israel’s alleged actions against Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The governor of the Turkish city Edirne was under pressure on Saturday, after allegedly saying local Jews would not be able to use a synagogue there because of Israel's actions at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

The synagogue is undergoing renovations and when completed "will only serve as a museum" Edirne Governor Dursun Sahin was quoted by local media as saying on Friday.

Sahin reportedly said that it was unjust that Turkey should invest in Jewish places of worship if Israel was infringing on Muslim holy sites. The Turkish state is paying about 3.7 million liras (1.6 million dollars) for the renovations, the Dogan news agency reported.

"We are outraged by Edirne governor’s hostile statements and intent to bar Jewish worship and ceremonies from this historic synagogue as an act of punishment for alleged Israeli actions," Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director said in a statement, "He did not try to hide his hatred of Jews - it was clearly expressed in his public comments."

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