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Saturday, October 25, 2003

Two items from International Jerusalem Post (print)

Turkish Jews killed
Istanbul police are investigating suspicions of antisemitic murders, following the brutal murder of two Turkish Jews, killed ina an identical manner, within the past three weeks.

Muiz Konor, 32, an owner of a catering company, was murdered Thursday a week ago. His bound and shot body was discovered in a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul. Three weeks earlier, the body of dentist Yosef Yehiyeh, a 35-yar-old father of two, was discovered in his clinic, bound and shot the same way.

Both victims were shot at close range and had not been robbed, police said.

Even though police have yet to establish a connection between the two cases, their strong resemblance has sparked concern amongst the members of the Jewish community in Turkey.

Moshe Knafi, senior official of the Israeli embassy in Turkey, said the country's 22,000 Jews are closely following the investigation. "Two similar murders have occurred in Istanbul . . . but it's important to note that antisemitism doesn't exist in Turkey. The [Jewish] community is strongly connected to the Turkish government, and its leaders are extremely popular here. These murders are therefore very strange."
Zimbabwe shul destroyed
The Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation, a 104-year-old active synagogue located in Zimbabwe's second-largest city, burned to the ground just two days before Yom Kippur. Police believe a group of young people loitering in an alleyway adjacent to the synagogue may have started the blaze, which then spread and engulfed the building. Community leaders, however, said they did not suspect arson.

The flames destroyed prayerbooks, Pesach haggadot and other books, but two congregants managed to save the community's six Torah scrolls and the parochet, or curtain, from the Holy Ark, which was made in 1725.

As a result of Zimbabwe's rampant inflation, the synagogue building was not insured. Yom Kippur services were held elsewhere.

Some 170 Jews currently live in Bulawayo, down from more than 3,000 just four decades ago.
It doesn't say why so many left, or where they went. I wonder.