Simon Wiesenthal Center Issues Turkey Warning

Thursday, 17 Jun 2010 05:29 PM

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel advisory Thursday urging its 400,000 constituent families and the Jewish community to defer any nonessential travel to Turkey.

“For 500 years, Jews have found a safe haven in Turkey, but the unprecedented campaign of escalating rhetoric demonizing the people of Israel emanating from official circles and elements of the media has created an unprecedented toxic environment which has spread fear among Turkish Jews and raises profound concerns for their safety and the safety of any Jew visiting the country," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the center.

"We will review our advisory in three months or when events warrant," Cooper said.

The center issued travel warnings to France and Belgium in 2003 following a spate of anti-Jewish hate crimes and in 2009 to Dubai after an Israeli athlete was barred from a tennis tournament.

The center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations, with more than 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies, including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament.



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