Turkey Donme

Turkey Country Studies index

Turkey - Donme


The Dönme are descendants of the Jewish followers of a self-proclaimed messiah, Sabbatai Sebi (or Zevi, 1626-76), who was forced by the sultan to convert to Islam in 1666. Their doctrine includes Jewish and Islamic elements. They consider themselves Muslims and officially are recognized as such. Their name is the Turkish word for convert , but it carries overtones of turncoat as well.

The Dönme have been successful in business and in the professions, but historically they have not been part of the social elite because neither Jews nor Muslims fully accept them. Experience with prejudice inclines some Dönme to hide their identity to avoid discrimination and also has encouraged the Dönme to become a tightly knit, generally endogamous group. Since the early 1980s, however, overt discrimination has lessened, and intermarriage between Dönme and other Muslims has grown common.

You can read more regarding this subject on the following websites:

Tracy Lawrence Holds Annual Turkey Fry - YouTube
Names and Their Meaning - Turkish Culture
What Are Baby Turkeys Called? | Reference.com
How Did the Turkey Get Its Name? - Ottoman History Podcast
The D nme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and

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