Jewish Heritage Tours in Istanbul
For Visitors ;
Security in the Jewish community is very tight. An essential prelude to any visit to any synagogue in Turkey is contact with the Jewish Heritage tour company in Istanbul . They will ask you to complete a form giving details of a reference your adress in Turkey and the dates and times you wish to visit particular synagogues…
After the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in1453 , Sultan Mehmet II ( the Conqueor 1451-1481 ) encouraged immigration to repopulate the city. Jewish communities were invited to take up residence at Hasköy on the eastern bank of the Golden Horn. Under Sultan Beyazit II ( 1481-1512 ) Jews persecuted in Spain and Portugal were encouraged to establish themselves in the Ottoman Empire. In Istanbul the new immigrants settled mostly near the Balat quarter on the western bank of the Golden Horn where a Jewish community had existed since Byzantine times. Jews also settled in villages along the western shore of the Bosphorus….
The area around the Galata Tower in Beyoglu is of prime interest to visitors touring the Jewish interest sites. The neighborhood has bustling street life the synagogues have great historical and artictic value,and all sites are within easy walking distance of one another.
This is another of the quarters in which Jews were settled after their expulsion from Spain enlarging a community which had lived here since Byzantine times. Today Balat is a working-class district on the shores of the Golden Horn.