Edirne’s synagogue soon to serve Turkey's Jewish community
by Anadolu Agency
EDIRNE, TurkeyMar 09, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Mar 09, 2015 12:00 am
The restoration of the Great Synagogue in Edirne has finished and it will be opened with a ceremony to be held on March 26, officials said yesterday.
The head of the Turkish Jewish Community, İshak İbrahimzadeh, visited the synagogue yesterday and was briefed by General Directorate of Foundations Edirne Bureau Manager Osman Güneren about the preparations for the opening ceremony. İbrahimzadeh said he was very pleased about the restoration project.
Foreign Ministry Edirne Representative Ambassador Ahmet Murat Yörük, the representative of Turkey's Chief Rabbi Moris Levi and Turkish Jewish Community General Coordinator Deniz Baler accompanied İbrahimzadeh during the visit.
The chief rabbi of Turkey's Jewish community, İsak Haleva, and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç are expected to attend the opening ceremony. The ceremony will take place after prayers and the Torah's transfer.
The Great Edirne Synagogue was built in 1905 by the order of Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II to replace 13 separate synagogues destroyed by a huge fire that devastated the city. The building was designed by French architect France Depre. The synagogue opened in 1907 and served as a house of worship until 1983, by which time the city's Jewish community had dwindled to almost nothing.
The building was later transferred to Trakya University for cultural use, but due to criticism, was handed over to the General Directorate of Foundations in 1995. The synagogue's roof collapsed two years later. Featuring architectural characteristics of the Leopoldstadter Tempel, once the largest synagogue in Vienna, Edirne Synagogue will continue to serve as a house of worship.