Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' back in Turkey amid Jewish protestations

Published 06.03.2016 20:28

German dictator Adolf Hitler's infamous autobiography "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle) is back on bookshelves in Turkey while the country's Jewish community resents that supermarket chains also decided to sell the book.

Rights to the book, an anti-Semitic manifesto, was held by the German state of Bavaria until Jan. 1, 2016, and the state had since refused any publication of the book. Germany successfully stopped sales of the book in Turkey in 2007 after a two-year lawsuit culminated in the book's banning, which was published by 10 publishers in Turkey. As the book became public domain last month, Turkish publishers returned with new Turkish editions of the book to the dismay of the country's some 23,000-strong Jewish community. Karel Valansi, a columnist for Turkish Jewish newspaper Şalom, urged publishers to print "an annotated edition like in Germany" instead of a mere translation of the book. She was referring to the new edition, which runs to 2,000 pages, prepared by German researchers delving into the warped ideas of Hitler, which later became a reality, such as "Lebensraum" - annexation of Germany's neighboring countries - and his hatred of Jews, which led to the Holocaust. In a tweet, Valansi questioned "what kind of mindset" certain supermarket chains were in to sell "Mein Kampf," and called out Migros and Real, two prominent chain stores. İshak İbrahimzadeh, the leader of the Turkish Jewish community, said in a tweet that selling "My Struggle" was "apparently fine" for supermarkets "as their struggle is to sell goods."

Turkey has embraced Jews for centuries, and its Jewish community is largely descendants of Sephardic Jews that the Ottoman Empire took in after they fled the Inquisition in Spain in the 15th century. Although cases of anti-Semitism are rare in the country, the book's publication in 2005 sparked concerns, especially after it became a best-seller within a few months of its release.

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