Rifat Bali’s A Scapegoat for All Seasons considers the increase in the Turkish public’s interest in Dönmes, or Crypto-Jews, who are alleged by nationalists to secretly control the Turkish republic.
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In A Scapegoat for All Seasons, Rifat Bali, a noted historian of Turkey’s Jews, takes up the case of the Dönmes, or Crypto-Jews. Bali’s present book is a reaction to an upsurge in nationalist literature in Turkey, from both secular and Islamist circles, which considers the country to be controlled by Jews. The Jewish community of Izmir, which produced the Sabbatean offshoot of Judaism, is assumed to be the centre of the anti-Turkish activities. According to certain authors, the founders of the Turkish replubic were themselves Dönmes. Bali’s work considers these beliefs and why they should have developed in the Turkish case in this series of essays which range from assessing individual works on the Crypto-Jews in Turkey to historical treatments of issues such as the Nazi’s view of Dönmes.