Gaza vigil near Jewish hospital in İstanbul draws accusations of antisemitism

A vigil held by a group of doctors near the Balat Jewish Hospital in İstanbul for the victims of war in Gaza has drawn accusations of antisemitism, Turkish Minute reported.

A group of doctors protesting Israel’s attacks on Gaza caused controversy by staging a demonstration near the Balat Jewish Hospital wearing “bloody” lab coats.

The protest has been labeled as antisemitic due to its proximity to a Jewish hospital.

Ahmet Selim Köroğlu, a member of the Presidential Health and Food Policies Council, announced the protest, which involves a silent march every Saturday. However, the selection of the proximity to the Balat Jewish Hospital for the vigil has been questioned by critics, who argue that it unfairly targets a religious community and violates the principles of equal citizenship.

Social media users recalled that a decree of Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II established the Balat Jewish Hospital in 1898. They argued that the protest in front of a hospital that has been serving patients regardless of religion is a bad idea.

They assert that the actions of the Israeli state are unrelated to Turkey’s Jewish citizens.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas in response to the attacks, which killed an estimated 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and saw 240 hostages taken to Gaza.

Israel retaliated with a bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza, which, according to the Hamas government in the territory, has killed 14,100 people, mainly civilians that included thousands of children.

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