The president of the Jewish kehilla in Antakya (historically known as Antioch) in southern Turkey, which suffered the greatest destruction from the earthquake, was apparently killed along with his wife after their house collapsed in the earthquakes that struck the country on Sunday.
Irit Lillian, Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, told Keshet on Tuesday morning: “Unfortunately, the president of the Jewish community in Antakya and his wife are apparently no longer alive. Their house collapsed. Regarding Israelis, we are still in the process of finding out. This is not an area where there is a large presence of Israelis. As far as we know, we have no distress calls from Israelis.”
As for the number of Jews living in Antakya, she said: “Very few. These are remote areas, isolated communities. There are really few. The president of the Jewish community in Istanbul went there yesterday and informed me that as far as they know everyone is fine, with the exception of the two in Antakya.”
Rav Yitzchak Peres, the Rav of the Yenikoy kehilla in Turkey and member of the Istanbul Beis Din, told Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Dovid Lau on Monday that there are 14 Jews missing – 12 who live near the Syrian border and two who live in southern Turkey.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)