Rifat Bali

Rıfat N. Bali, an independent scholar, is a graduate of Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Religious Sciences Division, in Paris. He is the author of nine books and numerous articles on the history of Turkish Jewry.

Publications by Rifat Bali

The Slow Disappearance of Turkey’s Jewish Community

Turkey’s Jewish community is one of the few remaining Diaspora communities in a country with a Muslim majority. Despite its apparent dynamism, its long-term viability is doubtful. The community does not have any influence or play any role worth mentioning in Turkey’s cultural, political, or intellectual life. Furthermore, in recent years the entire community has become the target of much resentment and hostile rhetoric from the country’s Islamist and ultranationalist sectors. Read More »

Present-Day Anti-Semitism in Turkey

Turkish intellectuals have always taken a pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli stance. Islamists associate the "Palestine question" with alleged Jewish involvement in the rise of Turkish secularism. Leftists see Israel as an imperialist state and an extension of American hegemony in the Middle East. Comparable themes are found among nationalist intellectuals. Read More »

Turkish Jewry Today

The Turkish Jewish community is one of the oldest of the Diaspora, dating back to the Roman Empire. Ninety percent of Turkish Jews live in Istanbul and most of the remaining 10 percent in Izmir. Demographically it is an aging community with a steady trend of emigration, in the past to Israel and nowadays mainly to the United States. Read More »