The Ottoman Empire had always been tolerant of non-Moslems and never forbid or restricted their worship in accordance with their religion.In 1324, when Orhan Gazi conquered Bursa, he permitted the Jewish people to construct Etz-Hayim Synagogue.In 1394, the Jewish people departed from France on the orders of Charles VI and look refuge in Edirne.
The Ottoman Empire of that time, ruled by the sultan Beyazid II, had embraced those Jews who were left homeless as a result of their deportation from Spain due to their conventions and beliefs and settled them in Anatolia.
Sephardic Jews had lived for centuries among the Turks in peace and comfort and followed their beliefs under the auspices of Turkish tolerance (secularism).
Anatolia is also as significant area for Christians and is considered holy and sacred for many reasons which include: Turks preserved and protected the synagogues and churches which belonged to the Jewish and Christian faith that exist even in areas where Jewish or Christian populations were practically non-existent.
It must be emphasized here that these well preserved holy places show the best and most concrete example of how the Islamic religion treats other religions in tolerance and respect.
The Anatolian peninsula, spanning on two continents, forms a natural land bridge between Europe and Asia.
Due to its unique position, Anatolia has been the destination for numerous immigrants, many of them leaving the indelible mark of their cultural heritage during their settlement in this area, now known as Türkiye (Turkey).
Anatolia has been the cradle of numerous civilizations for thousands of years and the birthplace of the three major religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
This fact alone, lends Turkey its unique and invaluable cultural and archaeological heritage.
Because of its secular position in the world, the Turkish attitude toward religion has been on of tolerance.
Judaism, which was the first monotheistic religion, was widespread in Anatolia.
Recent archaeological excavations conducted in the Aegean region indicate Judaism's existence since the early 4th century B. Sardis (Sart, near Salihli) contains the remains of one of the oldest synagogues dating back to 220 B. which provides a fine structural and archaeological example of this place of worship.