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GALLIPOLI, port in European Turkey, on the S. coast of the Gallipoli peninsula. Benjamin of Tudela, the 12th-century traveler, found 200 Jews in Gallipoli; they are also mentioned during the reign of Michael VIII Palaeologus in 1261. In the Byzantine period there were a few cases of conversion in the 13th century. In 1354 Gallipoli came under Ottoman rule. Mehmed the Second transferred, after 1453, many Jews from Gallipoli to Istanbul. They founded a separate congregation, one of the "Sürgün" congregations in Istanbul. But in the 16th century there were only three or four members in this congregation and at the beginning of the 17th century it ceased to exist. Jews are registered in the census of 1488/1489 of Gallipoli. Jews in Gallipoli served as *sarrafs (bankers), and in the 15th century they paid for the privilege of a license to work as a group in this profession. There were also Jews in Gallipoli who owned real estate. It seems that a group of Romaniots returned to Gallipoli before 1492, but they remained with a status of "Sürgün" and paid their taxes in Istanbul. The number of Jews increased at the end of the 15th century, when the Romaniot Jews were joined by refugees from Spain and Portugal. In the census of the year 1519, 15 Jewish families and two bachelors were registered along with three merchant Jews from Istanbul who were staying in the city. In 1520–35, 23 Jewish families lived in the city, representing 0.3% of the general population. There were 5,001 Muslim and 3,901 Christian inhabitants. Between the years 1547 and 1557 a first firman for the Sephardim and Romaniots was enacted. It exempted the Romaniots from part of the Ottoman taxes and community taxes. The Sephardim were considered wealthy. At the same time new orders were issued which related to the economic rivalry between the Sephardim and Ashkenazim in the community. But in 1577 the Sephardim complained about economic hardship and their inability to pay the Ottoman taxes. New community regulations from the middle of the 16th century tried to prevent the transfer of Jewish real estate to the Gentiles and the entry of Gentiles into the Jewish quarter. In that century Rabbis Judah Ibn Sanghi and Ishai Morenu were active in the community. In 1600–01, 30 Jewish families lived in the city (1.72% of the population), all in the Jewish quarter. Local Jews were the tax farmers in the city during the 17th century, but in 1648 the "emin" of the city threw the Jews out of this position.

The emissaries Rabbi Moses ha-Levi and Joseph ha-Cohen visited the community between 1668 and 1684, and the emissary Ḥayyim Ya'akov visited it in 1670. The traveler Samuel ben David visited in 1641–42 and wrote that there were two synagogues in the city, but it seems that the community was united under the leadership of one rabbi. In 1656 the local Jews ransomed an Ashkenazi woman from Eastern Europe. In 1666 the pseudo-messiah *Shabbetai Ẓevi was confined to the fortress of Abydos (called by the Jews Migdal Oz, "Tower of Strength") in the vicinity of Gallipoli; his prison became a center of Shabbateanism. Abraham *Cardozo visited the community in 1682 and was boycotted by the local Jews..

The majority of Jews were peddlers and merchants, but there were also wine manufacturers who sent their products to Istanbul. Jews from Gallipoli traveled for their businesses especially to Egypt, Istanbul, Bursa, Edirne, Salonica, and Rhodes. Jews from Gallipoli founded the community of Çanakkale. The famous rabbi of the community was Meir di *Boton (born in Salonica, 1575), who wrote a book of responsa. He served the community many years and died in Gallipoli in 1649. The rabbis of the city during the 17th century were Simeon Ibn Haviv (died 1712), Ishai Almoli (served as the community rabbi c. 1665–90), and Raphael Ibn Haviv. Other rabbis and scholars in the 17th century were Eliezer ha-Cohen, Joseph Sasson (b. 1570), and Nathan Gota. The av bet din of the community in the middle of the 19th century before his departure to Istanbul was Raphael Jacob ha-Levi.

During the 19th century the Jewish community prospered. Among the Jews were merchants, artisans, and civil servants. The rabbi of the city was Raphael Ḥayyim Binyamin Peretz, who was earlier a dayyan in Istanbul and came to Gallipoli after 1878. He wrote that the community of Gallipoli was small and had to adopt the religious regulations of the Istanbul community in those special cases in which the wealthy leaders of Gallipoli did not know how to decide. Peretz wrote the well-known halakhic work Zokhreno le-Ḥayyim (3 vols, Salonica, 1867–72). Another rabbi of the community was Jacob Ibn Haviv (d. 1863). At the end of the 19th century Rabbi David Pardo (b. Istanbul, 1838) served there for seven years. The Jews of Gallipoli had many commercial and economic connections with the Gentiles. The majority spoke and wrote Ladino.

In 1912 there were 2,500 Jews in Gallipoli. The earthquake in the same year destroyed the Jewish quarter with the two synagogues which had been active from the 19th century onwards, but no Jews were killed. During the Balkan Wars (1912–13) refugees, including Jews, streamed into Gallipoli. The Va'ad ha-Haẓẓalah ("Rescue Committee"), founded then, aided the refugees, as well as Jewish soldiers from Syria and Iraq. In 1915 the Zion Mule Corps, as part of the British Army, fought the Turks on the Gallipoli peninsula (see *Jewish Legion). Until c. 1920 there lived in the city 600 Jewish families with three synagogues. From 1933 all religious and administrative affairs of the Gallipoli community were subordinated to the district rabbinate of *Çanakkale. As a result of emigration to Istanbul and the United States between the two world wars and subsequently to Israel, the number of Jews in Gallipoli decreased. Two of the three synagogues of the community were burned during World War II. In 1948 there were about 400 Jews in Gallipoli, and in 1951 about 200. By 1970 the few remaining families in Gallipoli were mainly engaged in commerce. In 1977 the Jews of the city numbered only 22 persons, of whom four were youngsters. Of the breadwinners six were merchants. In August 1977 no Jew remained in the city after the immigration of local Jews to Istanbul and Israel. The Jewish cemetery contains 835 tombstones, of which the oldest is from 1628 and the latest is from 1986.


Angel, in: Almanakh Izraelit (1923), 109–11 (Ladino); Rosanes, Togarmah, 1 (19302), 4; 3 (19382), 127–8; Scholem, Shabbetai Ẓevi, index; Y.M. Toledano, Sarid u-Palit, 40–4; A. Ya'ari, Masot Ereẓ Yisrael (1976), 227; N. Todorov, The Balkan City, 1400–1900 (1983), 52; J. Haker, in: Zion, 55 (1990), 71; M.A. Epstein, The Ottoman Jewish Communities and their Role in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (1980), 78, 112–13; S. Tuval, in: Pe'amim, 12 (1982), 134–35; S. Bowman, The Jews of Byzantium, 1204–1453 (1985), 61, 76 n., 116; A. Shmuelevitz, The Jews of the Ottoman Empire in the Late Fifteenth and the Sixteenth Centuries (1984), 133; L. Bornstein-Makovetsky, Pinkas Bet ha-Din be-Kushta – Pinkas Bet Din Issur ve-Heter, 1710–1903 (1999), 42–43.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.