The followers of Sunni Islam, one of the two major branches of the tradition (the other is Shi'a), make up approximately 80 percent of the Muslim population in the world.The Sunni are the majority in most Islamic countries outside of Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Bahrain.
But, these are two very distinct sects of Muslims and should not be confused with each other.The Sultan welcomed the Jews and even sent a ship to facilitate their emigration.The Jews prospered under the Ottoman millet system that provided rights and protection (though also special taxation) for Jews and Christians.It can be done in the presence of only the husband and the wife.The case of a Shia wedding is completely different as in this case where the witnesses are mandated to be present in the case of a divorce and not when the wedding takes place.“Now in the Jewish community in Turkey, people continue to emigrate abroad every year and we have five deaths for every one birth,” explains Nisya Işman-Alevi, the director of the Quincentential Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews.
The Jewish population of Turkey is down to only 17,000; all but a few thousand reside in Istanbul, and the future of this important group of people in this changing country is uncertain.
In 1492, the Spanish Inquisition initiated one of the largest movements of Jews in history.
The Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II openly mocked Spain’s King Ferdinand for impoverishing his own country by expelling an ethnic group that was key to commerce in the country.
There are very few inter-sect marriages due to the glaring differences.
Shia and Sunni marriages consist of very different wedding functions.
“Go down the street, take a right, then a left, and another left, and then another left,” the bank security guard says, directing me toward the Museum of Turkish Jews in Istanbul’s historic Karaköy district.