A 600-year-old Jewish cemetery was vandalized in Istambul, Turkey, with a total of 36 tombstones destroyed.
According to a tweet by an official Jewish community account, a total of 36 tombstones were destroyed in the in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 14. The Jewish Hasköy Cemetery is situated in the Hasköy district of the city, which is one of the oldest districts where Jews used to live and the cemetery is one of the older still-used Jewish cemeteries, according to the Turkish Jewish community’s official website.
The community explained that over the many centuries that the Hasköy Cemetery has been in use, the size of the burial grounds has been significantly reduced, in part due to earthquakes and in part due to the destructive intrusions of private people and official authorities.
Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman on behalf of Turkey’s President has condemned the vandalism in the Jewish cemetery, calling it a “heinous attack,” reports The Jerusalem Post.
“We will never allow those who attack sacred values to try and sow seeds of strife and enmity in our society,” Kalin added.
The Jewish community organization explained on its website that through cooperating with the local police, they organized constant police patrol on the site, due to which it is not possible to pass through the cemetery, neither is vandalizing the tombs.
Nevertheless, the statement adds that this precaution is probably not enough. “Despite all these measures, our watchman suffers constant verbal abuse from locals and our dogs are continuously attacked with the intent to mutilate or kill.”