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 Turkey Should Apologize for Struma 


    Muslim Turkey must apologize for sinking a ship and killing nearly 800 Jews in 1942,  This is the tragic story of the ship filled with Jews hoping to immigrate to pre-state Israel.

    The merchant vessel Struma left the Romanian port of Constanta in December 1941 at the initiative of the New Zionist Organization and the Betar Zionist youth movement. Its 781 passengers hoped to sail to Mandatory Palestine despite British-imposed Jewish immigration quotas, and escape the fascist regime of Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu.

    The ship docked in Istanbul on December 16, 1941, due to engine failure. Waiting at the port, the Struma’s passengers learned the British would not give them visas to enter Mandatory Palestine and that they could not disembark in Turkey.

    After a 10-week impasse between British and Turkish diplomats over the refugees, during which the Jewish community of Istanbul provided them with food, the Struma was towed into the Black Sea.

     The vessel was abandoned about 16 kilometers from the shore. On February 24, 1942, the Soviet Submarine Shch-213 torpedoed the ship, which sank quickly.

LAHAV HARKOV 04/02/2013 

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