In the past I’ve made frequent references to the Sephardi jews that in the 15th century fled the Spanish inquisition and Portuguese King’s policies and settled in Amsterdam. I like to refer to that group in history as a clever ancestral anicdote as to why I like living in the Netherlands.
But then I find myself in Istanbul surrounded by some of the finest guides and friends a boy can ever wish for, and when I bring up the sarphatic jews and my long lost possibly jewish roots back many generations, Mr. B turns to me and says — you know where else they settled? – Istanbul.? The Ottoman empire, for various reasons, decided to give them a place to settle, right here in this city. (actually one of two places in Turkey)