300 BCE Jewish community exists primarily in the city of Sardis.

1204 Conquest of Constantinople leaves the city without its former glory. In order to revive the city the Sultan orders Jews, Christians and Muslims to resettle into the new capital. Some view the resettlement of Jews as “expulsion.”

1324 First Jewish Synagogue falls under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire. The Etz Hayyim Synagogue in Bursa is still in use today although there are only 140 Jews living in the city.

1421-1453 Immigration of Ashkenazi Jews to the Ottoman Empire.

1492 Following the Spanish Inquisition the Sultan formerly invites Jews from Spain and Portugal to resettle in the Ottoman Empire. Jewish immigrants settle in provinces across the Empire.

1500s Jewish subjects engage in business enterprises

1600s Ottoman Empire is tolerant of the Jews and allows them to have administrative autonomy. Some restrictions exist for Jews about where they can live or work, but these restrictions are applied to other minority groups as well. Overall, Jews enjoy great prosperity.

1650s Lack of unity among Jews of the Ottoman Empire.

1908 Five Jewish members are part of the Ottoman Parliament.

1923 Establishment of Turkey as an independent state has negative effects on the population size of the Jews and other minorities in Turkey.

1934 A planned deportation of Jews from East Thrace and an anti-Jewish pogrom causes feelings of insecurity among the Turkish Jews.

1942 Varlik Vergisi, or the Wealth Tax, is imposed on all wealthy Turkish citizens but is essentially directed at minorities. Those who can not pay the tax are sent to labor camps and about 30,000 Jews emigrate from Turkey as a result. This tax is seen as a racist attempt at decreasing the power of minorities.

1942 Ship named Struma carrying 769 Jewish refugees arrives in Istanbul but its passengers are not granted permission to land. Therefore, the ship sails back only to be hit by an explosion that causes the ship to sink.

1945 Turkey remains relatively neutral during World War II, but individual Turkish diplomats work hard to save Jews from the Holocaust and are successful in saving 15,000 Jews from France and 100,000 Jews from Eastern Europe. World War II devastates European Jewry while the Turkish Jewish Community remains intact.

1955 Istanbul pogrom riot causes damage to 4,000 shops and 1,000 houses. 10,000 Jews flee Turkey.

2013 There are an estimated 26,000 Jews still living in Turkey today, with the majority situated in Istanbul.