Featured Post

A beige pullover with buttons on the side

He survived an Istanbul synagogue bombing that killed 28, including dear friends, and changed him forever
Nermin Sahin, center, whose son Murat was killed following a suicide attack at an Istanbul synagogue, lays flowers at the scene of the blast in Istanbul, November 15, 2004 [photo credit: Osman Orsal/AP]
Nermin Sahin, center, whose son Murat was killed following a suicide attack at an Istanbul synagogue, lays flowers at the scene of the blast in Istanbul, November 15, 2004 [photo credit: Osman Orsal/AP]

Istanbul

November 15, 2003

A regular busy Saturday for the Jews of Istanbul.

My calendar had two notes for this day. One of them was the opening of the “Maazike Tora” — Torah study classes for the kids in the Şişli-Bet Israel Synagogue. The other note was for the Bar Mitzvah of Harun Kohen, my friend’s little brother, in the Neve Shalom Synagogue.

November 15, 2003 – 9:30 a.m.

The last time I ever felt safe in my life…

The first explosion was at the front door of the Neve Shalom Synagogue. This explosion was so strong that its impact left a crater 3 meters wide and 2 meters deep.

In front of Neve Shalom Synagogue of Istanbul – 15.11.2003

 

The second explosion happened just 2 minutes later at the back door of the Bet Israel Synagogue.

In total, 28 people were murdered and over 300 injured.

November 15, 2003

The day I understood that there are people who are determined to erase me from existence just because I am who I am; because I was born as I was born.

Jew.

Today, after 13 years, I still experience the intense emotions I felt that day. The physical pain, the loneliness, the anger, the helplessness and self pity. The survivor’s guilt…

I have written the above so I can find the strength to say what follows.

Today the President of the Turkish Jewish Community tweeted:

 “15th of November 2003: ..It has been 13 years that I had to ask a mother; what her son was wearing… For the people who are counting the years…”

A very simple reply caught my eye at the bottom of this tweet…

– “A Beige Pullover With Buttons On The Side….

With tears in my eyes, and love and hatred in my heart: I’m sorry….

In loving memory of:

About the Author
Jack E. Civre was born as a Jew in Turkey Istanbul in 1985. He studied Engineering. During his University years he started being involved in Public Diplomacy.
Comments