Report after report in recent days described extremely frightening encounters Israeli tourists experienced in Istanbul, following multiple warnings by Israeli security organizations about Iranian cells seeking to kidnap and murder Israelis.
But it seems as if Turkish Jews and many Israeli tourists are living their lives as usual on the street of Istanbul, JTA reported.
Chabad Rav, Rabbi Mendy Chitrik, Turkey’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi who speaks with dozens of Israeli tourists on a weekly basis, said he was inundated with messages from Israeli tourists and local expats in the past week.
“When people call me, and ask me if they should come, I say they should refer to the security instructions of their government and try to comply with that,” he said.
But he said that he’s noticed little change on the streets. “I walk on the streets of Nisantasi [a popular shopping district in Istanbul], and still hear Israelis speaking.”
Chitrik added that although he has no knowledge of how many Israelis canceled their flights to Turkey due to the warnings, as the director of the kosher supervision in Turkey, he knows that there has been no decrease in the number of kosher meals ordered for flights landing in Turkey.
Amid the ongoing security situation, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid traveled to Ankara on Thursday to meet with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)