Amid concerns of a rise in anti-Semitism in Turkey, the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Tuesday sent Turkish Jews a greeting for Chanukah.
“I extend my warmest Hanukkah holiday greetings to our Jewish citizens. We see the variety in our social, cultural and humane structure as the foremost richness that has brought Turkey to what it is today, reinforced our unity and togetherness, and enhanced our solidarity and dialogue,” Erdogan said in a statement, according to the Hurriyet newspaper.
The Turkish president said Turkey would carefully preserve its rich cultural and historical heritage, while highlighting that Turkey’s Jewish citizens were “the fundamental elements of Turkey,” Arutz Sheva reported.
“Our Jewish citizens, which we embraced during history’s hardest and most sad periods and with which we have lived in unity, harmony and reciprocal respect for centuries in these lands, in the cradle of civilization of Anatolia, are unquestionably the fundamental elements of Turkey,” he said.