Jewish and Christian leaders were optimistic when the Turkish Parliament began debating a bill regulating minority foundations and organizations.The draft version -- part of a reform effort driven by Turkey's bid for European Union membership -- contained provisions making it easier for minority groups to operate and reacquire properties that had been confiscated by the state. But after a heated debate on the measure, with many parliamentarians objecting to its liberal approach, the version that passed Parliament offered little improvement over the past.
Following the dastardly attacks in Istanbul targeting Turkish Jews in two synagogues on Nov. 15 that left 25 innocent people dead and several hundred Turkish Jews and Muslims severely injured (see Cover Story, p. 18), I was asked what this all means for Turkey.
It means sadness and sorrow for the lost lives and the loved ones left behind; it certainly means outrage; but it also means determination to fight against this greatest evil of terrorism. It is a terrorism that has no boundaries, that makes no distinction, but is hungry for creating fear and intimidation, and it has no respect for the central and sacred pillars of all universal principles -- respect for life and the right to live.