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Alternate name: Turkish: Gelibolu Yarımadası. The Gallipoli peninsula is located in Turkish Thrace, the European part of Turkey east of the Aegean Sea and west of the Dardanelles straits. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek Kallipolis (Καλλίπολις), meaning "Beautiful City." Sephardic historyHistory.

Alternate names: Gelibolu at 40°25'24.10"N 26°40'48.28"E. 2014 town population:30,000. · Town's current Jewish population:1

CEMETERY: The cemetery contains 835 tombs, of which the oldest is from 1628 and the latest from 1986. Cemetery site. http://www.gallipoli.org.il/105756/Jewish-Cemetery[July 2009]

The Australian Jewish Historical Society-Victoria Inc. has records of Jewish soldiers buried in Australian and overseas cemeteries maintained by the Australian War Graves Commission. Further information may be obtained from the Honorary Secretary, Mrs. Beverley Davis, P.O. Box 255, Camberwell, Victoria 3124. Please include two international postage coupons. [2000]

In September 2008 we visited the town of Gallipoli, where Jews lived for hundreds of years, from the expulsion from Spain. In the early 1900',s many members of the community began toimmigrate to the United States, South America and Israel. Those who remained were unable to maintain the community. Today, only one Jew remains in Gallipoli. It is depressing to wander through the section of the city, which was previously the Jewish Quarter, seeing abandoned houses with their special architecture. It is heartbreaking to see the synagogue in ruins. It was most difficult, to the point of almost repulsive, to see the condition of the Jewish cemetery where our ancestors were buried starting back in the 15th century. According to a survey conducted about 10 years ago by Prof. Mina Rosen (Tel Aviv University) there are more than 800 graves in the cemetery. The cemetery is neglected and desecrated, its walls and fences breeched, the purification hall has been taken over by a local family and the place looks like a public dump. The cemetery is covered with underbrush and thorns grown over most of the graves. In addition, the low graves are covered with dirt. Many tombstones are missing, some of which have been removed while other are strewn around the cemetery. A few years ago a six floor tenement house was built on a section of the cemetery. If this cemetery is not immediately restored, it will cease to exist. It is essential to preserve this sacred and historical site for future generations and as a memorial to the Jewish Community of Gallipoli. In addition, a message will be delivered to the local Moslem residents that the Jewish people do not neglect and abandon their heritage and their sacred sites. We started to organize in order to begin the restoration process. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Ashdod, Israel to assist in the restoration of this site. [July 2009]

The neglected and desecrated cemetery walls and fences have been breeched. The purification hall has been taken over by a local family; and the place looks like a public dump. The cemetery is covered with underbrush and thorns that have grown over most of the graves. In addition, the low graves are covered with dirt. Many tombstones are missing, some of which have been removed while other are strewn around the cemetery. A few years ago a six-floor tenement house was built on a section of the cemetery. If this cemetery is not immediately restored, it will cease to exist. According to a survey done by Prof. Mina Rozen, there are about 800 graves. photos of the cemetery. We wish to restore and preserve this important site. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Ashdod, Israel to assist in the restoration of this site. [July 2011]

CEMETERY:

The unlandmarked and inactive cemetery dates from 1450. Interested in site is The This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . No caretaker. The last burial was 1973. The Jewish community was Romaniot and Sefardic.

The isolated cemetery location is urban, on flat land with a sign in English and Turkish that reads as follows: This is a holy site - The Jewish cemetery of Gallipoli, established 1453. For more information: www.gallipoli.org.il

The cemetery is reached by turning directly off a public road. Access to the cemetery is open to all and surrounded by a broken masonry wall and a broken fence with no gate. The size of cemetery is 100meters x 100meters with no special sections. The oldest known gravestone: dates from1450. The approximately 800 gravestones in the cemetery date from the 15th to 20th centuries. The mostly marble and limestone gravestones with Hebrew and Ladino inscriptions are flat, shaped stones ,finely smoothed and inscribed stones ,flat stones with carved relief decoration ,sculpted monuments ,horizontally set stones with Sephardic inscriptions flat, low in-ground plaques. About one third of the original cemetery was annexed by the municipality, the graves were destroyed and the tombstones were thrown to the dump.
The present owner of the cemetery property is the municipality of Gelibolu. Properties adjacent to the cemetery are recreational, agricultural and residential . Rarely, private visitors arrive.

The cemetery was vandalized occasionally in the last ten years. No maintenance by occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals. A preburial house is within the limits of the cemetery. A local farmer family took it over and lives there.

The vegetation overgrowth in the cemetery is a constant problem, disturbing graves, disturbing stones and damaging stones. Water drainage at the cemetery is a seasonal problem, disturbing tombstones or graves.

The Gallipoli cemetery was fully survived, about 10 years ago, by Prof. Mina Rosen, at that time from Tel Aviv University. It was one of many cemeteries which she survived in Turkey. The data include photos and exact location of more than 800 graves in the Gallipoli Jewish cemetery. Prof. Rosen would not share her data with anyone. She said that the research work is not completed. She said that she need funds to complete her research.

Since the survey done by Prof. Rosen the condition of the cemetery deteriorated. In the beginning, about 7 years ago, a six stories apartments building was built on the cemetery ground. We do not know if any graves have been destroyed by that construction act.

In our visit to Gallipoli in the end of 2008 we found that the cemetery was neglected and desecrated, its walls and fences have been breached, the purification hall has been taken over by a local family and the place looks like a public dump. The cemetery is covered with underbrush and thorns which have grown over most of the graves. In addition the low graves are covered with dirt. Many tombstones are missing, some of which have been removed while other are strewn around the cemetery. We decided to act but did not know how. We created an Internet site and started to spread the word among the descendants of the Gallipoli families.

In the beginning of this year, about one third of the cemetery, with at least 200 graves, was seized by the local municipality for a construction project of a Park and girls dormitory. Without any notice the constructors dug the land using bulldozers, brutally desecrated the ancient graves and threw the tombstones to the dump. We asked the chief Rabbinical office of Turkey to get involved. They sent their lawyer to Gallipoli to meet with the municipality officials but they (the Istanbul people) could do nothing after they were told that the cemetery is the property of the city.

We now realize that If this cemetery is not immediately restored, it will cease to exist. It is essential to preserve this sacred and historical site for future generations and as a memorial to the Jewish Community of Gallipoli. In addition, a message will be delivered to the local Moslem residents that the Jewish people do not neglect and abandon their heritage and their sacred sites.

Therefore, we have decided to organize in order to raise the resources necessary to carry out the project of restoration and conservation of the cemetery. Our main tasks will include the following steps:

Repair the wall and fence in order to enclose what was left of the original cemetery and declare it as a sacred place again.

Clear the weeds and thorns and remove any trash and garbage.

Clean all tombstones from dirt, weeds, fungus and moss.

Find the tombstones which are strewn around and place them on the proper graves.

Mark the graves without tombstones relying on the survey of Prof. Mina Rosen

We will need to seek the full cooperation of the local authorities, who will also be responsible for maintaining the sanctity of the site. We are now in a process of registering as a non-profit organization according to the Law of Non-Profit Organizations of the State of Israel to be called "The Association for the Jewish Heritage of Gallipoli". We created a Facebook group called "The Jewish Heritage of Gallipoli" with members and supporters from all over the world. We seek the willingness of people and organizations to help us promote this project of restoring and conserving the Gallipoli Jewish Cemetery.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Ashdod, Israel completed this survery on December 3, 2013 and visited in October 2013

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 May 2015 20:19
 
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