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The history of the Jews in Anatolia, however, started many centuries before the migration of Sephardic Jews. have been uncovered in the Aegean region, where Jews lived and traded in the ancient cities of Ephesus, Sardis, Pergamon, and Smyrna (renamed Izmir by the Turks).Remnants of Jewish settlement from the 4th century B. The historian Josephus Flavius relates that Aristotle Second and third century Greek inscriptions tell of a flourishing Jewish community in Smyrna. and traces of other Jewish settlements have been discovered near Bursa, in the southeast and along the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts.The Republic of Turkey, a transcontinental country located mostly on Anatolia in Western Asia and East Thrace in Southeastern Europe, has a Jewish history dating back possibly to the 4th century B. Learn More - Cities of Turkey: Amasiya | Ankara | Antioch | Atil | Aydin | Bayramiç | Bursa | Edessa | Edirne | Ezine | Gallipoli | Istanbul | Izmir | Lapseki | Manissa | Mardin | Mersin | Nisibis | Sarūj | Tokat | Kurdistan At midnight August 2, 1492, when Columbus embarked on what would become his most famous expedition to the New World, his fleet departed from the relatively unknown seaport of Palos because the shipping lanes of Cadiz and Seville were clogged with Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain by the Edict of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain.
On October 27, 1840 Sultan Abdulmecid issued his famous ferman concerning the "...Ottoman rule was much kinder than Byzantine rule had been.In fact, from the early 15th century on, the Ottomans actively encouraged Jewish immigration.The arrival of the Sephardim altered the structure of the community and the original group of Romaniote Jews (descendants of Greek-speaking Jews) was totally absorbed.Over the centuries an increasing number of European Jews, escaping persecution in their native countries, settled in the Ottoman Empire.
Half a century later, 8,070 Jewish houses were listed in the city.