Correction to the expression ‘A filthy Jewish and Christian Neighborhood”The section in Office of Mufti’s web site where there is information about historical mosques, the location of Yeni Mosque in Eminonu was described with the expression “it used to be a filthy Jewish and Christian neighborhood”. This expression sparked reaction.
On the web site istanbulmuftulugu.gov.tr, the article about Yeni Mosque described the mosque’s location at the time of construction as “The construction site, Bahcekapi and its surroundings at the time was a center of commerce due to its proximity to Customs Bureau and the harbor. At the same time, it was a crowded and filthy Jewish and Christian neighborhood. Within the boundaries of the construction site, there used to be a church and a synagogue. It was decided to pay double the usual expropriated price to the houses within the construction site and to renovate two ruined sanctuaries in return for the synagogue and the church.”
Another expression used in the article was: “The building’s height had reached the first window arches. Years had passed and the neighborhood was once again covered with Jewish households. Everywhere turned into dump.”
Salom writer Karel Valansi brought up the issue on social media. As a response, AKP Istanbul MP Mustafa Yeneroglu stated that the content of the article will be corrected. Yeneroglu posted a tweet on Twitter, “This is an approach Directorate of Religious Affairs definitely does not approve. I urge Office of Mufti in Istanbul to correct the said expressions and apologize. This kind of language is not approved by them, either. They will find its source and correct it as soon as possible.”
Shortly after, Office of Mufti in Istanbul removed the section in question from its web site.