Anatolian Jews:   From antiquity to modern times


Did you know that, based on physical remains, there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Anatolia, modern Turkey, since at least the fourth century BCE?

Based on physical evidence, there has been a Jewish community in Anatolia at least since the fourth century BCE, most notably in the ancient city of Sardis. The New Testament has many mentions of Jewish populations in Anatolia in Roman times as well.

After the fall of Byzantium to the Turkish Ottoman Empire, the number of Anatolian Jews increased significantly with the arrival of Sephardim expelled from Spain and Portugal, and of Ashkenazim facing persecution in Poland, Austria and Bohemia.

Starting from the XX century the various migrations outside of Turkey have produced descendants of Turkish Jews in Europe, Israel, United States, and Canada. Today, there are still various synagogues around the world that maintain Jewish-Turkish traditions developed in Anatolia throughout millennia.