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Corinna Guttstadt

Senior Fellow (02/2020–07/2020)


Islam-Motivated Antisemitism in and from Turkey. Themes, Patterns of Argumentation, and Dissemination


GUTTSTADTMuslim antisemitism is a heavily debated topic in the European public sphere. However, the debate is often politically motivated and deeply ideological: While one side accuses “the Muslims” generally of holding antisemitic attitudes, the other side invokes “Islamic tolerance” by pointing to the secure existence that Jews enjoyed for example in the Ottoman Empire. No systematic scholarly study has been conducted to date of the frequency and the patterns of argumentation of antisemitic statements by religious Islamic institutions in Turkey.

This project examines the attitudes of the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) as well as the leading Islamic theological faculties vis-à-vis Jews. The Diyanet is an institution directly subordinated to the president that administers religious institutions and exercises a formative influence on the interpretation of Islam in Turkey and its mosques abroad through the compilation of Friday sermons, legal opinions, and publications. The first stage of this project consists of a quantitative analysis of statements by the Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı and of publications of Islamic theological faculties on the topic of Jews and the proportion of negative representations contained therein. The second stage consists of a qualitative analysis of the findings through the topoi employed, with a particular focus on the role played by explicitly religious Islamic motives. Finally, the project will examine the reception of antisemitic statements made in Turkish media and the institutions subordinated to the Diyanet.


Corry Guttstadt is a Turkologist and historian. She completed her doctorate at the University of Hamburg with a dissertation on Turkey, the Jews, and the Holocaust, which is internationally regarded as a foundational work on this topic. Her research focusses on the position of minorities in Turkey, antisemitism, and the history of Sephardic Jews. She has published widely on the politics of neutral states during the Holocaust, Sephardic Jews, minorities in Turkey, and antisemitism. She is the managing director of the Turkey Europe Centre (TEZ) at the University of Hamburg.


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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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