Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

On the Turkish-Syrian border, a city's last Jews watch the ending of an epoch

 

October 28, 2022

David I. Klein

Olga moved to Antakya from Damascus 25 years ago.

ANTAKYA, Turkey (JTA) - Jews have lived in the city of Antakya, known in ancient times as Antioch, for over 23 centuries. And the city wants visitors to know that.

A symbol composed of a Star of David entwined with a Christian cross and Islamic crescent has practically become the city's logo, as it's plastered all over town, especially on restaurants peddling the southern Hatay province's patently spicy cuisine.

"I was born in Antakya and I will die in Antakya," said Selim Cemel, a Jewish clothing merchant with a shop in the city's famed Long Bazaar - a snaking maze of Ottoman Era caravanse...



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