2002 presented a deepening economic crisis and growing anxiety over a war in Iraq for the 67 million inhabitants of the Turkish Republic. Speculation regarding the objectives of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) added to these concerns. The Turkish Jewish community, with an approximate population size of 18,000, shared these concerns. However, the main question focused on the AKP's rise to power and the impact this would have on Turkey's strategic and economic relations with Israel, as well as Turkey's position on the Israeli-Arab conflict. The new government's steps resulted in a decrease in Jewish anxiety.