Turkish students perform Nazi salute at soccer game against Istanbul’s only Jewish school

ISTANBUL — Turkish Jewish leaders say they are taking action after students at Istanbul’s Üsküdar American Academy reportedly performed the Nazi salute during a soccer game against Istanbul’s sole Jewish day school.

The students from the American school, considered one of Istanbul’s most elite, performed the gesture at the game on Tuesday as a taunt following goals by the Ulus Jewish School team, according to reports on Twitter and in Avlaremoz, a Turkish Jewish media outlet.

Turkey’s official Jewish communal organization condemned the incident. The Jewish organization says that it’s in contact with the American school’s board and that “necessary initiatives will be taken,” though it doesn’t specify what those initiatives might be.

The American school is also investigating what unfolded at the game, according to a statement it issued.

“We would like to emphasize that we stand against all kinds of discrimination in accordance with our institutional and educational philosophy.” the statement says. “We have urgently contacted the school officials of Ulus Private Jewish High School, conveyed our regrets and initiated the necessary investigation.”

The incident has sent shockwaves through Istanbul’s Jewish community, which includes families with connections to both schools.

“As a Üsküdar American High School graduate, I do not want to believe this behavior of my school’s students towards the students of my son’s school.” one Jewish graduate, Roki Levent, writes on Twitter. “If it is true, I condemn it and I am deeply saddened to see my school come to this.”

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