Turkey / Western Anatolia


Turgutlu. Photo by Waresare – Wikipedia

Strategically located on the trade route between Sardis and Izmir, Turgutlu was home to a large Jewish community. Gravestones with Hebrew inscriptions dating back to 1391 have been found here.

In the 19th century, there were three synagogues in Turgutlu. They were destroyed in the fire that ravaged the town in 1922. The synagogue that can be seen today dates from 1939, but is unoccupied due to the lack of a community.

The last Jews left the town for Izmir in 1967. The Turgutlu museum has an exhibition room devoted to the town’s non-Muslim minorities (Roma, Armenians and Jews).