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Corry Guttstadt

Senior Fellow (02/2021–07/2021)


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


GUTTSTADTA vehement discussion is taking place among the European public about the scope and dissemination of Islamic antisemitism, a discussion that is often politically motivated and deeply ideological: While one side accuses ‘the Muslims’ generally of holding antisemitic views, the other side invokes notions of ‘Islamic tolerance’, pointing for example to the secure lives of Jews in the Ottoman Empire. To date, no thorough study has been undertaken on the frequency and argumentative patterns of antisemitic statements made by religious Islamic institutions in Turkey.


This project examines the attitudes of the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) as well as of leading Islamic theological faculties towards Jews. Directly subordinated to the President of Turkey, the Diyanet is an institution dedicated to administering religious bodies. Through the compilation of Friday sermons, legal opinions, and independent publications, it exerts a significant impact on the interpretation of Islam in Turkey as well as on the mosques it administers abroad.


In the first stage of the project, a quantitative assessment of statements made by the Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı and of the publications by Islamic theological faculties on the topic of “Jews” and the proportion of negative representations contained therein will be undertaken. In the second stage, the aim is to qualitatively analyse the findings with regard to the topoi used, focussing especially on what role explicitly religious Islamic motifs play therein. Finally, the reaction to antisemitic statements made by Turkish media and the institutions subordinated to the Diyanet will be examined.


Corry Guttstadt is a Turkologist and historian who completed her PhD at the University of Hamburg. Her dissertation, entitled “Die Türkei, die Juden und der Holocaust”, is regarded internationally as the milestone work in this field. Her research focusses on the situation of minorities in Turkey, antisemitism, and the history of Sephardic Jews. She has published extensively on the politics of the neutral states during the Holocaust, Sephardic Jews, minorities in Turkey, and antisemitism. She is the Managing Director of the Türkei-Europa-Zentrum (TEZ) at the University of Hamburg.


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July 2024
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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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