Turkey will commemorate the Nazi Holocaust for the first time on Thursday, which marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day, at İstanbul’s largest synagogue, Neve Şalom. The office of Turkey’s chief rabbi and the Turkish Jewish Community issued a statement to mark the day. “It is humanity’s obligation to condemn the Holocaust, which aimed to completely destroy a people, to take necessary measures to prevent future genocides and to encourage efforts to educate new generations,” the statement said. It also noted that every country in the world had a duty to eliminate all forms of racism and discrimination.
The statement further recalled that President Abdullah Gül had attended a ceremony in Auschwitz to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp in 2005 and issued statements regarding Holocaust Remembrance Day every year. Officials from Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will attend the ceremony, which will be accompanied by an exhibition and a documentary about liberation day. The opening speech will be delivered by Süzet Sidi, a Turkish expert on the Holocaust. Chief Rabbi İsak Haleva and İstanbul Governor Avni Mutlu will then light a candle in memory of the victims.