The history of the Jews and Judaism in Turkey goes back as far as the time of Alexander the Great. The Jewish communities in Asia Minor have existed throughout the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires including Modern Turkey today. European Jews arrived during the 14th century, drawn by Ottoman policies that permitted Jewish and Christian land and property ownership and wider freedoms to choose a profession. During the reign of Queen Isabella, in 1492 hundreds of thousands Jews were expelled from Spain. They were welcomed into the Ottoman Empire and formed a vibrant intellectual community in the Empire. On this tour, we will particularly concentrate on the Jewish Heritage sites and cultures of Asia Minor for a better understanding.
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