'Turkish man plotted to kill rabbis'

Resident of eastern Turkey tracked after mailing threatening letter.

June 25, 2010 17:28
1 minute read.
Pro-Palestinian Turkish protesters shout slogans "

pro-Palestinian Turkish 311 protest. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A man was arrested by Turkish security forces Friday for allegedly plotting to kill rabbis in Istanbul, AFP reported Friday, citing an earlier report by Turkish newspaper Milliyet.

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The individual, Ismet Rencber, had been tracked after mailing a threatening anonymous letter to the main synagogue in Istanbul and was stopped by security forces upon his arrival at a relative's home in the city's suburbs.

Rencber, a mason from the city of Kars in eastern Turkey, denied that he intended to kill any Jews, but told investigators that he "hated Jews."

In 2009, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to combat anti-Semitism in his country in the wake of IDF Operation Cast Lead. "There has been no anti-Semitism in the history of this country," Erdogan told members of his party at the time. "As a minority, they're our citizens. Both their security and the right to observe their faith are under our guarantee.

There are 23,000 Jews in the predominantly Muslim country of more than 70 million. Most live in Istanbul, and many have prominent roles in banking and education.

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