Istanbul, Turkey – A Jewish cemetery located in Beyoglu, Istanbul, was desecrated Tuesday, by vandals who smashed several headstones to pieces.
According to the Turkish news website Stargazete, eight of the cemetery’s gravestones were damaged, as well as some parts of the cemetery’s periphery.
According to the report, local police forces were called to the graveyard in the morning hours, once the damage was discovered. The investigation includes gathering tapes from several security cameras stationed in the area. The Police hope the footage will provide them with leads as to any suspects.
During Passover members of the Jewish community could not be reached for comments.
Jackie Angel, a Turkish Jew living in Istanbul said that he did not believe the incident was cause for concern: “There is nothing to panic about. We don’t even know if this was a hate crime yet. Everything here has been quiet for a long while.”
Angel added that even Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose relations with Israel have been growing tenser by the day, wished the Jewish community in his country a happy Passover. “He spoke at length about the holiday and said he wished us peace and quiet here.”