This research traces the histories of the Ahrida and Mayor Synagogues in Istanbul, and the Great Synagogue in Edirne against the background of interrelated questions on architecture, identity, memory/ history, power, and cultural difference. Established in the 15th, 17th and 19th centuries respectively, all three buildings were left idle when their neighborhoods were abandoned by Jews in the mid-20th century. Following the 1980s however - and after several decades of decay - they were selected from among Turkey's numerous crumbling synagogues to be the showcases of the country's Jewish past. Having numerous times been ‘sites of memory' within their active lifetimes, they were again transformed into sites of memory by restoration projects under the forces of national and international politics, heritage industry, tourism, and others. This research considers the buildings as long-standing sites of power, difference, and negotiation, in which memories collided and histories were constructed. It discusses in comparative fashion how the buildings were instrumentalized for the representation of the past at different moments in Ottoman and Turkish history and critically examines the discourses and practices that surrounded their restoration projects in the post-1980s.