Jewish Journal

Wiesenthal Center Advises Against Travel to Turkey

by Susan Freudenheim

June 23, 2010 | 2:39 pm

Following up on our interview with R. Hakan Tekin, Turkey’s consul general in Los Angeles, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called to let us know that last week he’d called the Turkish consul with the sole purpose of letting him know that the Wiesenthal Center would be issuing a travel advisory with regards to Turkey in the wake of the Flotilla Conference. This is the text of the Wiesenthal advisory:


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is issuing a travel advisory urging its 400,000 constituent families and the Jewish community to defer any non-essential travel to Turkey.

“For 500 years, Jews have found a safe haven in Turkey, but the unprecedented campaign of escalating rhetoric demonizing the people of Israel emanating from official circles and elements of the media has created an unprecedented toxic environment which has spread fear among Turkish Jews and raises profound concerns for their safety and the safety of any Jew visiting the country,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Center.

“We will review our advisory in three months or when events warrant,”  Cooper concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center previously issued travel warnings to France and Belgium in 2003 following a spate of anti-Jewish hate crimes and in 2009 to Dubai after an Israeli athlete was barred from a tennis tournament.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For more information, please contact the Center’s Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

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