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Synagogues Of Turkey



Istanbul has had a vibrant Jewish community for more than 1000 years.

Synagogues are situated both at European and Asiatic side of the city :


Neve Shalom : The largest and central Sephardic synagogue in Istanbul at Galata (1951)

Ahrida : The oldest and probably most beautiful synagogue in Balat founded before the Muslim conquest of Istanbul in 1453

Zulfaris : Restored in 2001 , now is Jewish Museum of Turkey  (Quincentinal Foundation Museum)

Kal de los Frankos : Built by the Italian Jewish community of Istanbul in the 19th century  is  located north of Golden Horn Kados Corapci Han built by russian Jews in the 1880s located in an historic office building built Karaite (karahim)  located in the Haskoy Maalem overlooking the Golden Horn near the Jewish old age home at Haskoy Yanbol  built by Jews from Yanbol, Bulgaria, during the Byzantine period (rebuilt in the 18th century) is one of the two remaining synagogues at Balat the traditional Jewish quarter of Istanbul Bakırkoy  active since the late 19yh cenury , now is open only for Shabbat services

Ashkenazi : The only currently active Ashkenazi synagogue in Istanbul near to Galata Tower

Bet Avraam : The nearest to Sultanahmet

Bet Israel : The most populated synagogue in Turkey located at Sisli

Etz Ahayim : Burnt in 1941, is located on the Bosphorus at Ortakoy still active

Yenikoy : Located along the northern part of the Bosphorus, said to have been built by Abrahan Salomon Camondo Shaar Ashamayim , the newest (2006)built in Kemerburgaz  actually popular area among the Jewish community

Caddebostan Bet-El : Most populated synagogue on the Asian side of Istanbul

Hemdat Israel :  Amoung the city’s most beautiful on the Asian side

Bet Yaakov : Again at asiatic  side at Kuzguncuk   , just beside a greek Orthodox Church 

Princes Islands :  Synagogues  are active in Burgaz ,  Heybeli and Buyukada.



Gerush synagogue, his name means “exiled” in Hebrew , is  well maintained with a lathe and plaster dome

Mayor built by Sefarad immigrants ,  named in memory of their origin place in Spain , the Island of Mallorca



Sephardic Jews who sought refuge in Ottoman Empire and other Jewish Communities founded their own neighbourhoods in Edirne. Each community established its own synagogue and the number of synagogues rose to 13 at the early 20th century. However, the Harik-I Kebir (the Great Fire) of 1903 in Edirne destroyed 1514 houses also damaging the synagogues in the city. Since almost 20 thousand Jewish people were left without a synagogue, the construction of a new synagogue became inevitable.

With the permission of Ottoman Government and edict of Abdul Hamid II, the construction began on January 6, 1906. Following the order of Abdul Hamid II which allowed the construction "of a new stone synagogue and wood rabbinate" on Dhu al-Qi'dah 10, 1323 (January 6, 1906), the construction began on a site which previously hosted the Mayor and Pulya Synagogues in the county of Kaleiçi. Modelled after the Ottoman Sephardic Synagogue in Vienna, the Synagogue was built by the French architect France Depré and cost 1200 gold coins. The synagogue was opened for service on the eve of Pesach in April, 1909, as it was described on its inscription. The synagogue was named as the "Kal Kadoş Agadol" or the Great Synagogue.

The synagogue which was in service until 1983 became vacant since the Jewish Community left the city and the building entered under the control of General Directorate for Foundations in accordance with the respective regulations on foundations in 1995.

The Great Synagogue of Edirne stands out with its magnificence as well as with its architectural features. Vienna's Great Synagogue which was the prime model for the Edirne Synagogue was burnt down during the Kristallnacht by Nazi Party sympathizers. As the synagogue in Vienna was irrevocably destroyed due to racism and anti-Semitism, a house of prayer modelled after it, is being brought to life by the endeavours of General Directorate for Foundations and Turkish Jewish Community



Çorlu was always the home of a small Jewish community. They had their synagogue which was in regular service. But the Jews who suffered during the various wars, gradually left the town. Today there are no jews inÇorlu, and the synagogue has been turned into a mosque. But it has been restoored in corcondance with the original design, without changing the ceiling decorations and the column capitals. The former Çorlu Jews who now live abroad, come to visit the places where their ancestors lived and they beefy visit the mosque as well.



Mekor Haim Synagogue : The Jewish Community has now vanished from the town. As the quorum needed before the synagogue could be used, religious services ceased when the town had a Jewish population of under 10. Every October, Jewish people from İstanbul gather together in the 120 year old synagogue to celebrate Shabbat (a day of rest and spiritual rejuvenation). Blessings are made and candles are lit.



Izmir had a thriving Jewish community since Roman times

Beth Israel the largest built in 1907 in Karatas

Seniyora  which may take the name from Dona Gracia Nasi, Duke Jospeh Nasi’s mother-in-law

Bikur Holim  , adjacent to the former Jewish Hospital in Cankaya

Algazi , known as Kal de ariva  built in 1724 by the Algazi family

Shalom dated from early 17th century

Etz Hayım

Rosh Ha_Har , relatively small synagogue built in the 19th century

Kahal Kadosh is operating as conservatory



Manisa - Sardis

Sardis  the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia and home King Croesus (560-546 BC),.

Ancient Sardis had a very large and prosperous Jewish community, which produced the largest ancient synagogue outside of Palestine. Christianity arrived in the 1st century AD and Sardis was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Sardis now lies entirely in ruins and is an archaeological site in the village of Sartmahmut with ongoing excavations.



Adana synagogue is only for wedding ceremonies, funerals and special occasions



Samanpazarı Synagogue (Center): Jewish Community living in Ankara worship in this synagogue. The synagogue is opened only for wedding ceremonies, funerals and special occasions. The Ankara synagogue was restored in 1907 by an Italian architect.



The Jewish comunity in Gaziantep used to talk Arabic at home and Turkish in their business life. They were occupied with trade.

It is thought that the Gaziantep synagogue is a temple built in the 10th century. Unlike the other synagogues, there are no prayer seats in this one The Worshppers used to sit on the carpets or rush mats when they were praying.

The synagogue has been restored in 2012 due to teamwork of the jewish comunity in Turkey and the government,



The Antakya Synagogue is located in Antakya, near the border with Syria. It serves the few remaining members of the once thriving, 2,300-year old Jewish community of ancient Antioch (now largely composed of descendants of Syrian Jews) 

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