Turkish Jewish Community Hosts 700 for Iftar Dinner

Community thanks Edirne residents for their support in reopening a newly-restored synagogue, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

The Jewish community of Edirne held a Ramadan fast-breaking meal on Sunday for 700 people, the Hurriyet Daily News has reported.

The Iftar meal was held at a newly restored synagogue in the northern province as a show of appreciation to the residents and the Directorate General of Foundations for their support in restoring and reopening the site.

“We thought that the most convenient way to thank people in Edirne was to share an iftar meal with them. We thank them all very much. We returned to Edirne and found a more beautiful home than our own,” Hurriyet quoted shak Ibrahimzadeh, the head of Turkey's Jewish community, as saying.

Osman Güneren, the head of Edirne's office of the General Directorate for Foundations, reportedly attended the event, at which leaders of the country's Jewish community personally served guests to the Ramadan feast.

The Edirne Synagogue reopened on March 26, after having briefly become the subject of controversy. Edirne Governor Dursun Ali Şahin had told reporters in 2014 that the site would not reopen to worship as planned, but instead become a museum, the Hurriyet said. This, he reportedly said, was in response to an Israeli military raid on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque at the time.

Later, however, Sahin apologized for the remark, saying his proposal “had no connection” to Turkish Jews. When the synagogue opened in March, the Hurriyet reported, Sahnin was among the government officials who attended the ceremony.