Unlike other countries, the Ottoman Empire proved to be a safe haven for Jews. Jews, for reasons debatable, were not allowed to preach and practice their religion in Europe but they surprisingly found a welcoming note in the attitude of the Ottoman people.
The Turks and their Tolerance
The Turks should be credited to have a tolerant bent of mind towards other religions and people from other people. They were immensely tolerant and open to other culture's views including those pertaining to religion. That is one of the many reasons as why the medieval Ottoman period can also be termed as undeclared democratic. Also, it is because of this tolerant nature that the Turks made fantastic progress in architecture, art, literature, music and related fields.
They also deemed education as important and allowed the Jews to preach their religion in the Empire. At the end of the great civilization, things were a bit different but like the Germans who formulated the Holocaust against the Jews and the Ottoman's who massacred the Armenians, the Jews were not executed or tortured as such.
The refuge of the Jews started in the Balkan territory and then gradually went inside other parts of the Empire. The Sultan himself oversaw the welcoming of a different faith and ordered that there should be no problem in helping them settle in their territory. Therefore with the backing of the Sultan, the Jews received a good welcome in the country.
The Christians who started the 'blood libel' against the Jews were discouraged to do so in the Ottoman Empire and here too, the Sultan personally monitored their relations with the Jews. Gradually as they started to live in the Ottoman Empire, they began to be consulted for important matters and also were given key positions in the government and administrative machinery.
Some letters had been recently found that were written by Ottoman Jews to their European counterparts asking them to come to Turkey and live in peace rather than the life of fear that they lived elsewhere. The Jews were allowed to wear what they wanted and to practice their education and religion. Inter-community marriages saw the Jewish population in the region increase alongside the Christian ones. The little indifference that the Ottoman Christians had over their Jewish mates gradually vanished as the over all response to the welfare of Jews was good and all lived in peace and harmony.