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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Turkey 02: World War II discriminations 1942-1944

Capital tax since 1942 - measures against Jews - 1944 abolition of all restrictions and depths

from: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, Vol. 15

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)

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[World War II: capital tax since 1942 - arrests, seizures, deportations of Jews - 1944: release and canceled law for all capital tax depths]


<The Jews, like the Greeks and the Armenians, remained second-class citizens. This was both demonstrated and felt in particular during World War II, so long as Hitler's anti-Semitic propaganda gained ground and it seemed that (col. 1457)

the Axis powers were moving toward victory. To meet wartime needs in the neutral Turkish republic a capital tax (varlik vergisi) was approved (1942) which was to be levied on owners of large farms (Muslims) and other taxpayers. However, it soon became apparent that the really important determinants of a taxpayer's assessment were his religion and nationality.

The taxpayers' lists were prepared according to denominational indications. M (for Muslims) had to pay 5% of their capital or income (the same grade was accorded to foreign citizens); the tax rate for D (*Doenmeh) was about twice as much as for Muslims; for G (Gayri Muslims, non-Muslims) assessments would be made by special commissions, in accordance with their opinions.

In fact the poorest among the non-Muslims, especially Jewish artisans, wage earners, etc., were taxed at figures wildly beyond their ability to pay. Members of the minorities who had retained or obtained foreign protection at the time of the armistice and Allied occupation (1919-23) were able to have their assessments reduced to the Muslim level.

The Jews who had trusted in the new republic and thrown their lot in with it were subject to victimization and punishment. Through the spring and summer of 1943 the continuing arrests, seizures, and deportations were almost all of non-Muslims, the majority of whom were Jews. Many businessmen were ruined by assessments higher than their total possession; others, though wealthy enough to pay, went bankrupt because no time was allowed them to find sufficient liquid money.

The pro-Axis press expressed cordial approval of these developments, and denounced people of "alien blood", "Turks by name only", who should be punished for their disloyalty and ingratitude. With the decline of German power, as the downfall of the Axis became evident, a law was passed (1944) releasing all defaulters still detained and canceling all amounts still unpaid. The Democratic Party even promised compensation for damages caused to health and wealth.> (col. 1458)

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Sources
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: vol. 15,
                            col. 1456
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: vol. 15, col. 1456
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: vol. 15,
                            col. 1457-1458
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: vol. 15, col. 1457-1458
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: vol. 15,
                            col. 1459-1460
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: vol. 15, col. 1459-1460
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: vol. 15,
                            col. 1461-1462
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: vol. 15, col. 1461-1462
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: vol. 15,
                            col. 1463-1464
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: vol. 15, col. 1463-1464


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