ANKARA (Turk. Engürü, Rom. Ancyra, med. Angora), capital of the Republic of Turkey since 1923. A trading center on the trade route to Persia and the Far East, it was a way station for Jewish merchants. A few settled there permanently. After the expulsion from Spain and Portugal, the number of Jewish settlers increased. Exiles in large numbers arrived in Ankara, and on their initiative two organized communities (Spanish and Portuguese), which also included the city's previous Jewish inhabitants, were established. The two communities united in the mid-16th century. They numbered 231 Jews in the 1520s and 747 in the 1570s. The Jews of Ankara engaged in the silk trade, ordering wares from Persia and selling them throughout Turkey, and some merchants became wealthy.
A. Galanté, Histoire des Juifs d'Anatolie, 2 (1939), 275 ff.; idem, Appendice à l'Histoire des Juifs d'Anatolie (1948), 25–29. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Galanté, "Les Juifs d'Ankara," in: Hamenora, 11 (Oct.–Dec. 1933), 240–48; B.L. Bahar, "Tarihde Ankara Yahudileri," in: Salom (Mar. 4–July 22, 1964), 854–74; S.J. Shaw, The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic (1991), index; F. Ilter, "Ankara'nin eski kent dokesunda Yahudi mahallesi ve sinagog" in: Belleten, 60 (Dec. 1966), 734–43; B.L. Bahar, Efsaneden tarihe Ankara Yahudileri (2003).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.