The Jews Under Turkey's “New Deal”:
The Struggle for Democracy is Still Not Won
One Sunday morning last October, on a street in Istanbul, which ordinarily dozes through every seventh day, the flag of modern Zion broke out officially for the first time under the Turkish sky from the mast of the newly-recognized State of Israel’s Consulate. This modest event produced a succession of surprises from which only old Turkish hands, who know that two and two practically never add up to four along the Bosphorus, can make sense.
No less than fifteen thousand of Istanbul’s remaining thirty-five thousand Jews went to that street, eyes wet and throats aching with passionate pride, to see the colors of Israel unfurl. Their spontaneous congregation before the Consulate violated Turkish laws against unauthorized assembly and entirely flouted the ban on demonstrations in favor of a foreign power. The Jews came unbidden, unorganized, and unled. By coming they reversed, emphatically and challengingly, the habitual tendency of Jewry in Turkey to ward off the discriminating attentions of the authorities by keeping as inconspicuous as possible. They came, in fact, despite the nervous pleas of community leaders who feared the apparently inevitable displeasure of a Moslem public and a nationalist government.
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