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Centropa in Turkey

The Jewish community of Turkey had never, until we began in 2005, carried out an oral history project with its oldest members. Thanks to support from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Goethe Institute, we conducted a community-wide training seminar in January 2005, which was attended by Centropa's historical advisors: Dr Cilly Kugelmann, chief curator of the Berlin Jewish Museum, Prof Misha Brumlik, director of the Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt, and Margalit Bejarano, director of oral histories at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

There are around 15,000 to 18,000 Jews living in Turkey today, and all but a few live in Istanbul. This is the largest Sephardic community in the Diaspora today, and the stories we collected paint a fascinating picture of how families adapted from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to taking their place in the Kemalist Turkish republic.