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TURKA, city in Lvov district, W. Ukraine. Jews first settled in Turka in the early 19th century when the city was under Austrian rule. They engaged in trading in forest products, the manufacture of building materials, shopkeeping, and crafts – tailoring, shoemaking, carpentry, and transportation. In the second half of the 19th century the ḥasidic groups of *Belz and Sadgora had great influence within the community. On the eve of World War i, M. Landes, the Jewish representative on the city council, was mayor. Between the two world wars, when Turka was incorporated into Poland, Zionist parties were active, including Agudat Israel, Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir, and Agudat Akiva. Among Jewish educational institutions were the Degel Torah yeshivah, and *Tarbut and *Beth Jacob schools. The community founded a new orphanage in 1927. The Jewish population numbered 2,368 (51% of the total) in 1890, 2,892 (48%) in 1900, 4,887 (45%) in 1910, 4,201 (42%) in 1921, and 4,117 in 1931. The mayor of Haifa, Abba *Khoushi, was born in Turka.

[Shimon Leib Kirshenboim]

Holocaust Period

Before the outbreak of World War ii, there were about 6,000 Jews in Turka. On Sept. 17, 1939, the Red Army entered the town and a Soviet administration was established there until the outbreak of the German-Soviet war in June 1941. The Germans occupied the town at the beginning of July 1941. The first Aktion took place in January 1942, when about 500 Jews were killed. In August 1942 about 4,000 Jews were deported to the *Belzec death camp. The Jewish community was liquidated in December 1942, when the Jews were transported to the *Sambor ghetto, where they were killed together with the local Jews. After the war, the Jewish community was not reconstituted. An organization of former residents of Turka is active in Israel.


B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach xix i xx (1930), 124, 128, 155, 157; Almanach gmin żydowska w Polsce (1938), index; S. Bronsztejn, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w okresie międzywojennym (1963), 279; I. Zigelman (ed.), Turka: Sefer Zikkaron (Heb. and Yid., 1966).

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