Jew-hatred has become an everyday phenomenon in Turkey. Although I live in Izmir, the most democratic city in Turkey, [even here there is] growing anti-Semitism. Everywhere I meet Jew-haters and enemies of Israel, listen to their prejudices on the daily bus trip or during a visit to a popular fast-food restaurants.There were Arabic reports yesterday that the number of Turkish Jews moving to Israel have increased in the last two years, although I couldn't find the original article in Turkish.
Many of them admired Hitler, wish he would have his "mission" brought to an end and not stop at six million murdered Jews. Though it disgusts me, I can do nothing. I belong to a minority in this country and I know that the government will not protect my rights, which is why it would not be a good idea to respond.
...I visit the twelfth grade of an [exclusive] high school. During a lesson the religious teachers talk about the operation "Pillar of Cloud" in Gaza.
Some students began to complain about Israel. They became more and more violent, and the teacher, an official of the Turkish state, said, "Do not worry, Israel will be destroyed one day, and the day is near that all Jews will pay for it." After the teacher had incited the students some students began to praise Hitler, while others expressed their readiness to drive the Israelis into the sea.
I was surprised. I did not expect that a teacher, a Turkish government official, would incite students to kill people just because they are different, especially in Izmir, where the people are known for their tolerance.
Jew-hatred is spreading and the influence of Sharia law have changed the secular society, even in the most advanced parts of Turkey, such that it is no longer possible to ignore it, at least as a Jew.
I have no hope that the situation will improve in the future. On the contrary, it gets worse every day. This is not surprising. Biased media and politicians spread the manipulative rhetoric, and the textbooks that are issued by the Turkish state are dripping with hatred of Jews.
In a country where children are taught to hate, true respect for diversity cannot thrive, which is the foundation of any free society. While the secular society collapses, the growing power of the Islamists continue every day. Therefore I am not pessimistic, but realistic when I say that Turkey's future is not rosy.