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Doenmeh

Doenmeh (Turk., ‘apostates’). Followers of the Jewish false messiah, Shabbetai Zevi, who converted to Islam. Shabbetai Zevi himself converted to Islam in 1666, and a small group of his disciples felt it was their duty to follow his example. By the 1720s, there were three Doenmeh sects, the Izmirim, the Jakoblar, and the Karakashlar, probably numbering about 600 families. They were generally believed to be sexually promiscuous and orgiastic ceremonies were claimed to have taken place on the Spring Festival, Hag ha-Keves (Festival of the Lamb); but such accusations are common against new religious movements. Although compelled to move from Salonika in 1924, and despite widespread assimilation, still exists.

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