had a vibrant Jewish community for
more than 1000 years.
the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in
1453, Sultan Mehmet II ("the
Conqueror," 1451-1481) encouraged
immigration to repopulate the city.
Jewish communities were invited
to take up residence at Hasköy,
on the eastern bank of the Golden
Beyazit II (1481-1512),
Jews persecuted in Spain and Portugal
were encouraged to establish themselves
in the Ottoman
Empire. In Istanbul the new
immigrants settled mostly near
the Balat quarter
on the western bank of the Golden
Horn where a Jewish community had
existed since Byzantine times.
Jews also settled in villages along
the western shore of the Bosphorus.
must make arrangements with the Chief
Rabbinate for access to these
Jewish-interest sites. Admission
is by prior arrangement only. More...
area around the Galata
Tower in Beyoglu is
of prime interest to visitors touring
the Jewish interest sites. The Galata neighborhood
has bustling street life, the numerous
synagogues have great historical
and artistic value, and all sites
are within easy walking distance
of one another. More...
another of the quarters in which
Jews were settled after their expulsion
from Spain, enlarging a community
which had lived here since Byzantine
times. The Ahrida
Synagogue has been beautifully
the Jewish Home for the Aged,
the Kamondo mansion, a large Jewish
cemetery which includes the Kamondo
mausoleum, and the imperial Ottoman
pavilion called the Aynalıkavak
is a prosperous residential and commercial
district 2-1/2 km north of Taksim
Square. Two Jewish interest sites,
the Şişli Beth Israel Synagogue and
the Italian Jewish Cemetery,
are worth visiting. More...
Jewish orphanage is gone and the
historic Etz Ahayim Synagogue building
burnt in 1941, there is still a synagogue
here, and many other historic Ottoman sites
in the vicinity. More...
Israel Synagogue is among the
city's most beautiful, and is certainly
the most interesting Jewish site
on the eastern shore of the Bosphorus. More...
had a large and active Jewish community,
but there are few Jewish residents
today. Its synagogues are
heavily used only on holidays and
special occasions, though they are
customarily open for worship on Shabbat. More...
community life on the Princes
Islands (Adalar) is limited to
summertime, when synagogues on Büyükada, Heybeliada and Burgaz
Adası are open on Shabbat.
An outing to the Princes' Islands
is a pleasant excursion with minor