The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a statement on Sunday condemning the governor of Turkey's northwest Edirne Province who called for turning a local synagogue into a museum.
Edirne Governor Dursun Sahin has said Israel's actions in Jerusalem, namely atop the contested al-Aksa mosque compound have led him to push for the change.
Abraham Foxman who heads the US-based NGO expressed outrage over the governor's "offensive and threatening" comments and his attempts to "bar Jewish worship and ceremonies" from the century-old Buyuk Synagogue.
Foxman said this kind of "hostile" discourse – which "did not hide [Sahin's] hatred for Jews" – contributed to the tensions felt by the Jewish community in Turkey.
Sahin's comments were rejected by top Turkish officials, one of which said there were no intentions to stop the historic building from being a place of worship – comments that were welcomed by the ADL.