The main shul in Sisli, a neighborhood of Istanbul in Turkey is under extreme security measures in order to protect the welfare of its worshipers. Recently, a group of Charedim from Israel were booking a trip to the region and were told by their travel agent that should they want to visit the main shul, they would need to send copies of their passports to the shul’s office, otherwise, they would not be allowed to visit.
One participant said following the visit that it was a bit surreal. “After we arrived at the shul, the security checked our passports and then we were allowed to enter. We came into a protective room that was bulletproof that had an additional security check-post. Only after the second guard made sure that your passport matched who you are in person would he open the door to allow us inside.”
The group went to visit Sisli in honor of the Yartzheit of Rabbi Chaim Palachi which begins tomorrow and takes place in the city of Izmir.
In the attached photos, one is able to see helmets that have been placed underneath each seat inside the shul. “The fear of a terror attack taking place against the Jewish site has certainly had its effect on the community and the shul looks like a military fortress,” BeChadrei reported.