Watch: Second anti-Israel protest outside Istanbul synagogue

For the second time in one week, anti-Israel protesters take their anger at Israel's security policies out on their local synagogue.


Istanbul synagogue
Istanbul synagogue

JTA - For the second time in less than a week, protesters demonstrated against Israel outside a synagogue in Istanbul, Turkish media reported.

The latest incident occurred on Saturday outside the Ahrida Synagogue on the European side of the Turkish capital, in the north of the neighborhood of Fatih.

Fatih is a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements in Turkey.

The Ahrida Synagogue is one of the country’s oldest.

On Thursday, protesters showed up at the Neve Shalom synagogue on Istanbul, where they kicked the front door and hurled objects at it. Turkish Jewish leaders condemned the targeting of synagogues to protest Israel’s actions.

Following a deadly terrorist attack against Israel police officers near the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Israel temporarily limited access to the holy site for men under 50 and placed metal detectors at the entrance to it.

Responding to the Turkish Jewish Community’s protests, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Sunday said in a statement to the media that, while “limiting Muslims’ access to Al Aqsa mosque for whatever reason is an unacceptable mistake that Turkey expects Israel to undo immediately,” the Turkish government “does not agree with actions actions outside places of worship of Jewish citizens.”

Yıldırım said the government “expects on all citizens exercise self restraint.” The short statement did not say what would happen to those who do live up to the government’s expectation.

Protesting the magnetometers at the Temple Mount, at least 29 men gathered Saturday carrying signs with anti-Israel slogans and a cardboard structure meant to symbolize an x-ray machine, the Haberler news site reported.

Synagogues, which have been targeted by Islamists and other terrorists in Turkey in the past, are heavily guarded in Istanbul by police. To enter Istanbul’s main synagogues, including Neve Shalom, visitors must obtain the permission of the Jewish community prior to arriving there. The fact that demonstrators were able to gather outside the synagogues and stage protests there is highly unusual for Istanbul.