Turkish businessmen victims of anti-Semitic attack

(JTA) — Two Turkish businessmen were victims of an anti-Semitic attack at a restaurant in northwest Turkey.

The details of the attack, which were first published by the Algemeiner and Arutz-7 websites on Monday, based on an email from the victims, were confirmed to JTA by staff at Salom, a Jewish community newspaper in Turkey.

The two men were visiting clients in Turkey’s Babaeski region and stopped at a fish restaurant for lunch.  The owner of the restaurant reportedly realized that they were Jewish and began shouting anti-Semitic epithets and said that he would not serve the men, according to reports.

The owner then reportedly came after the men with a doner blade – a large, sword-like knife for cutting meat. The men fled the restaurant. “We started running for our lives,” the email reportedly said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July called Israel a “crime against humanity.” Erdogan later apologized for the remark to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call. Anti-Semitic incitement in Turkey reportedly has increased since the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

There are about 15,000 Jews currently living in Turkey.