Jewish cemetery unearthed during construction work in Turkey


Gravestones and bones from an ancient Turkish Jewish cemetery were unearthed during the construction of an underground tunnel.

The remains in the Turkish city of Izmir were found more than 20 feet below ground, the Hurriyet Daily News reported Wednesday.

According to Hurriyet, the gravestones were left in the ground and the bones were delivered to representatives of Izmir's Jewish community.

The bones will be reburied in the Altındag Jewish Cemetery, which remains open to Jewish burials, Izmir Jewish community chairman Jak Kaya told Hurriyet.

The cemetery disturbed by the construction work served the Jewish community during the 19th century, Kaya told Hurriyet.

In a letter to Turkey's Culture Ministry, the Jewish community requested permission for the removal and transfer of the gravestones, according to Hurriyet.

Izmir was home to approximately 40,000 Jews in 1868, making it the third largest Jewish community in the Ottoman Empire after Salonika and Istanbul, according to Beit Hatfutsot: The Museum of the Jewish People. There are now about 2,400 Jews in Izmir.

Jewish singer is Turkey’s pick for Eurovision


A Jewish singer will represent Turkey at the Eurovision song contest.

Can Bonomo of Izmir was Turkey’s pick for the annual songfest, Zaman’s online edition reported Tuesday. This year’s contest will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, in May.

EuroVisionary, a Eurovision fan site, describes the 24-year-old singer-songwriter’s style as “Istanbulian music that works with tunes from Alaturca to international indie style” with the Shins, Wax Poetic, the Kinks, the Libertines and the Beatles as influences.

A board selected by the Turkish Radio and Television Corp. chooses the country’s contestant.