Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire,one of the closest city to İstanbul located in Northwestern Anatolia and which has been the cradle of a number of civilisations. The İznik village of Bursa was also very important for the Christian religion as 1st and 7th church councils was held there and it is still one of 8 different pilgrimages points in Turkey.
Bursa known as formerly Prusa,was the home of the byzantine period according to Hebrew insciptions of 820.C.E.When Bursa was captured by the Ottomans, there were some romaniot Jews already living on the area. One of the big settlements of the Jews held on the 16th century, the Jews exiled from Spain settled in town and the Romaniot Jews were assimilated between them.
Even The Jews of Bursa were lived happily under the Ottoman reign, they were unfortunately faced “blood accusations” by Greek communities, but the authorities took immediate measures to punish these kind of riots in the Jewish quarter. In the second half of the 17th century,1200 Jews lived in Bursa and the population increased to 3500 till the First World War. On the first year of the Modern Republic,a considerable emigration to South America was held in the community.Today, there’s still just a few families and about 60 jews living in Bursa.
The biggest synagogue of Bursa is “Ets Ahayim”(The tree of Life) permitted by Sultan Orhan on 1324 in the Arap Şükrü district .The two others synagogue are also located on the same area and take their names from the Jewish communities where the Jews were exiled The Mayor Synagogue were once the synagogue of Jews coming from the Mallorca Island and the Gerush Synagogue which means “driven away” in Hebrew is also one of the significant synagogues of the city. The Jews exiled exiled from Spain were put on “galleons” sent by the Ottoman Empire. The Gerush Synagogue is well conserved today and opened for visitors.