The Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews

In 1492, about 120,000 Jewish people were forced to leave Spain. The then Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II issued a formal invitation to the Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal. In 1992, 500 years after the Jewish people first came to the Ottoman Empire, the Zulfaris Synagogue which was built in the 17th Century was restored as the “The Quincentennial (500th Year) Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews”. The purpose was to promote the story of 700 years of amity between the Turks and the Jews, as well as convey the humanitarian spirit of the Turkish nation. Istanbul’s Jewish Museum was officially closed at the end of 2015 and moved to the main synagogue used by Istanbul’s Jewish community, the Neve Shalom Synagogue in the Galata neighbourhood. The museum contains objects, wedding clothing, religious relics, military items, Jewish recipes, photographs and documents chronically showing the activities of the Turkish Jews since they first arrived in Turkey 700 years ago. The oldest object in the museum is a book published in 1512 “Complete works of an epic: Midrash Tehillim”, while the most valuable piece is its Hanukkah chandelier which is a 19th century work of a Jewish artist.

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Büyük Hendek Cad. No:39 34421 Beyoğlu, İstanbul
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