Turkey holds 1st ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance

January 27, 2011 18:25

Gathering held at Neve Salom synagogue in Istanbul; attended by members of the local Jewish community and the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

numbers on an arm

holocaust hand 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

Turkey held its first-ever state ceremony in memory of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators on Thursday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Every year, Turkey issues statements denouncing the murder of Jews, Gypsies and others by the Nazis on the day of remembrance, but has not previously held an official ceremony, according to The Associated Press.

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In 2005, Turkish President Abdullah Gül attended a ceremony in Auschwitz to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp.

Thursday’s gathering, which was held at the Neve Salom Synagogue in Istanbul, was attended by members of the Jewish community and the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

“It is humanity’s obligation to condemn the Holocaust, which aimed to completely destroy a people, to take necessary measures to prevent future genocides and to encourage efforts to educate new generations,” the Jewish community said in a statement.

The opening speech at the ceremony was delivered by Süzet Sidi, a Turkish expert on the Holocaust.

Chief Rabbi Isak Haleva and Istanbul Gov. Avni Mutlu then lit a candle in memory of the victims.

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