The Turkish Chief Rabbinate Foundation has said that the Balat Ahrida synagogue in İstanbul was attacked on Saturday, following a similar incident two days earlier at the Neve Shalom synagogue perpetrated by an ultranationalist group protesting Israel’s security measures at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
A tweet posted on the foundation’s @tyahuditoplumu Twitter account said the attacks on the synagogues are provocations and asked Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to take the necessary measures for the security of the Jewish minority in Turkey.
In response to the attack on Thursday by ultranationalists affiliated with the Alperen Hearths, an offshoot of the Turkish nationalist movement called the Grey Wolves (Ülkü Ocakları), the Turkish Jewish Community issued a statement that said: “We condemn the provocative strike in front of our Neve Shalom synagogue tonight and are asking the relevant authorities to take action.”
The ultranationalist group had gathered in front of Neve Shalom in İstanbul on Thursday night and kicked the synagogue’s gates while throwing stones in protest of Israel’s security measures at the Temple Mount.
The Israeli government had installed metal detectors at the holy compound after assailants killed two Israeli police officers last weekend. The Muslim religious body that has authority over the site announced that the metal detectors were an attempt to change the status quo and called on worshipers not to enter the site. Since then, violent clashes between Israeli soldiers and Muslim protesters have been ongoing at the compound.
Three Palestinians were killed in street clashes with İsraeli forces in Jerusalem and three Israelis were stabbed to death at a West Bank settlement on Friday.
The nationalist group said in a statement read outside Neve Shalom that Israel was a “terror state” seeking to block freedom of worship to Muslims.
“If you prevent our freedom of worship there, then we will prevent your freedom of worship here,” said the statement, read by the group’s local chairman, Kürşat Mican.