The Abandoned Synagogue´s Gate Set on FireThe gate of the historical Kasturya Synagogue, located in the Ayvansaray district in Istanbul, has been set on fire by unidentified people. The eyewitness Serhat Ersürel told what happened.
Of the Kasturya Synagogue that had been built in 1893, and demolished on a large scale in 1937, only the historical gate and some remains have survived until this day. According to the report of Arif Hür from the Snob Magazine, the gate and some remains of Kasturya Synagogue were set on fire by unidentified people on Friday night (March 19th).
The eyewitness Serhat Ersürel said, "While I was passing by, I noticed smokes coming from the Kasturya Synagogue's gate. I took the fire extinguisher from my car and I took the first countermeasure. Then I notified the fire department. They put out the fire. However, the synagogue's gate was damaged."
The Kasturya Synagogue has been handed over to the Directorate General of Foundations in recent years. The restoration works have started in Kasturya Synagogue in September 2020. The excavations revealed some of the basic remains of the ancient synagogue building, as well as fragments from the walls that had been underground for many years.
After the work done, the empty space in the wall surrounding the land had been covered with a wooden panel, and the attendant there had left a while ago.
Later no work was done. The wooden panels installed and locked to protect the remains have been broken a few days ago and unidentified people started to enter.
The investigations will reveal who has set the gate of the historical Kasturya Synagogue on fire, whether it has been done intentionally.
It has been claimed that the fire which had quickly been put out, had been set by the homeless children around.
The Kasturya Synagogue had been founded by several Sephardic Jewish families coming from the city of Kastoria in the Macedonian region of Greece. Only the gate of the courtyard has survived to this day.