Yad Vashem to teach Turkish academics about Holocaust

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Yad Vashem is partnering with the Aladdin Project to hold a Holocaust education seminar in Turkey.

Some 20 academics who teach in private and public universities in Turkey will participate in the program organized by the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, in cooperation with the Aladdin Project and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance at Galatasaray University in Istanbul.

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

The Aladdin Project to promote intercultural relations between Muslims and Jews was launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in March 2009, and has since been supported by more than 1,000 intellectuals, academics and public figures from over 50 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America.

Thursday’s seminar is the first of a five-part educational initiative on Holocaust education and anti-Semitism for Turkish academics.

In June 2014, the group will visit Jerusalem for a weeklong seminar at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies.

The seminar comes the same week that the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported that anti-Semitism triggered by the deteriorating relationship between Turkey and Israel is spurring young Turkish Jews to leave the country.

Hundreds of young Turkish Jews have immigrated to the United States or Europe in recent years, Nesim Guvenis, deputy chairman the Association of Turkish Jews in Israel, told the Hurriyet Daily News.

He told Hurriyet that the unease of Jews in Turkey became exacerbated after the Mavi Marmara incident in which Israeli Naval commandoes killed nine Turkish citizens when intercepting the ship attempting to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.