Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Turkey Humanity FDC

Turkey FDC
Name: Precedent For Humanity
Date of Issue: 17 July 2008

65 Yeni Kuruş:
Necdet Kent (1911-2002)
He served as Turkey's Vice-Consul General in Marseille between 1941-1944. During the Second World War, he issued Turkish passports to Jews and saved their life.

Necdet Kent was informed that Turkish Jews had been loaded into cattle cars to be transported to the concentration camps in Germany. He immediately went to the Saint Charles train station. In the cars there were 80 people crammed one on top of the other. The Gestapo commander in the station approached Necdet Kent and told him to leave right away. However, forcing the limits of his usual gentleness, Kent responded that those people were Turkish citizens and that there was a mistake that had to be corrected immediately. The Gestapo commander replied that he was only processing the orders and that the people in the cars were not Turks but "ordinary Jews". Seeing that his warnings beared no result. Kent suddenly jumped into the train by pushing aside the soldier who was trying to stop him and the official from the Foreign Ministry who had come with him. Outside there was a car waiting for taking Necdet Kent back. But he did not move. He explained that more than 80 Turkish citizens were loaded into these cattle cars just because they were Jewish and that he was the representative of a government which could not accept such an attitude. The Germans, puzzled by the firm stance of Necdet Kent, made everybody in the train get off and this drama was concluded.

80 Yeni Kuruş: Selâhattin Ülkümen (1914-2003)
He served as the Consul General of Turkey in Rhodes between 1943-1944. Opposing the German Nazi forces who occupied the Island during the Second World War, he saved 42 Jews from death.

Nazi Germany occupied Rhodes in 1943. Adolf Hitler's plan to annihilate Jews was directly put in practice in the Island. 1800 Jews were living in Rhodes at that moment. In 1944, the Nazi regime sent Anton Burger to the Island with the duty to direct the transportation of the Jews on Island to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The Commander of the Nazi armies in the Aegean region, German Lieutenant General Ulrich Kleeman, was ordered to fulfill Burger's instructions. The Germans ordered on the 19t of June the Jews in Rhodes to get together in the Italian headquarter on the Island and bring with themselves belongings for 10 days. The Rhodesian Jews were told that they would be resettled on a nearby island. The Turkish Consul General, Selâhattin Ülkümen, was concerned by these developments and demanded that the Turkish Jews living on the Island be released. Ülkümen told the German General: "According to Turkish laws, there is no difference between Jews, Muslims and Christians. If the Turkish Jews are not let go immediately. I will inform the Turkish Government and this will lead to an international crisis." At the end, Kleeman accepted to set free the Turkish Jews.

While he was serving as Consul General in Rhodes during the Second World War, Selâhattin Ülkümen prevented the expedition of 42 Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps with his personal efforts.

Comment: This is a good issue for Jews. Many people saved and helped Jews during WWII. My city, Shanghai, also saved about 20,000 Jewish refugees' lives during WWII. They are called "Shanghai Ghetto". BTW, it seems that Turkish Post had changed their registered label.

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