Region: Greater Middle East
The Cairo Times
The Forgotten Turkmen Population of Israel
Jerusalem - Today when we think of minorities living under Israel, we think of the Sunni Arab Palestinians, but not many people will think of the numerous other minorities living on that land. In addition to the sizable Christian Arab population, Israel also has a Turkmen population of 22 thousand. The Turkmen are concentrated in the two regions of the Jezreel Valley and the occupied Golan Heights. The Turkmen have been migrating to Palestine since the 12th century and kept migrating until the end of Ottoman rule in the Levant. The Turkish government which preaches standing up for Turkic people everywhere has been silent about the fate of the Turkmen and has not done anything to help their lives as a minority. Whether this will cause any tension between the Israeli and Turkish governments is yet to be seen but this should be a very important issue for the current Turkish regime's ideology.