President Erdoğan extends Passover wishes to Jewish community

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan extended his Passover (Pesach) holiday greetings to Turkey’s Jewish community on Friday.

“I congratulate our Jewish citizens on the occasion of Pesach. Our country, which has for centuries been displaying one of the most beautiful examples of the peaceful co-existence of different faiths and cultures, continues to be the land of peace and security,” said Erdoğan in a written statement. The president stated that unity and solidarity in the society with all its richness will always be Turkey’s greatest strength. “I share our Jewish citizens’ joy on the occasion of Pesach and wish well-being to them and all Jewish people,” he added.

The Passover, or Pesach, the holiday commemorates the Israeli’s exodus from Egypt under Moses and is considered one of the holiest times on the Jewish calendar. This year’s Passover is from Friday to April 23.

Turkey hosts a small Jewish community, mainly concentrated in Istanbul and mostly descendants of Sephardic Jews that took shelter in the Ottoman Empire after fleeing Spain centuries ago. Their numbers dwindled due to a pogrom decades ago and migration to Israel over the decades.

This year, holidays and sacred months of three major religions coincided. The Muslim world observed the fasting month of Ramadan, which began in April, while the Christian faithful will mark Easter Sunday this weekend.

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