Civil Marriage Ceremony

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This is the photograph of my civil marriage. It is Beyoglu public marriage office. I am 17.5 years old. I was not declared an adult for 6 months after we had the civil marriage. My mother signed and we were civilly married. My dress is very light green, and I have a hat.

As soon as we came to Istanbul, there was a proposition for my older sister Sara. A young man from Samsun (a city on the shores of the Black Sea), his name was Yusuf Murat.

On a day when they come to visit our house, Yakup Murat sees and likes my older sister. At that time, neither my older sister nor I have any dowry (the money given when girls marry). The Murat family is a wealthy family. My older sister accepted her fate and married in the Shishli synagogue

My older sister became the means for my marriage too. Because I married Yakup Murat's brother Mordehay Murat. Sisters became sisters-in-law.

When my brother-in-law's brother Mordehay Murat asked for my hand, he was a prospect approved by the family. For what it's worth, the older brother had married my older sister Sara. I would get to preserve the family ties by agreeing to this marriage, and my mother was going to stay with us.

Mordehay Murat was a handsome young man. He was respectful. Even though later he seemed to be an authoritative father in his relations with his children, he doted on them. His philosphy in life was honesty and living with your principles. He paid a lot of importance to his children's education. He wanted his son to obtain a career and his daughter to study in a foreign school no matter what. When we started this marriage, when I took the first step by getting engaged, I had a condition, we would move into my older sister's house too when we got engaged.

A house with the back rooms overlooking Halich (Golden Horn), linoleum floors and no bathroom. Husband and wife, my mother, myself and my fiance, we started living together.

We were happy, we were truly very happy. 6 months after the engagement, we had the civil marriage, we were living in the same house with my fiance nonetheless, it seemed more proper to us to be civilly married. I still have no dowry. One morning my fiance got up and took me to the market. We bought black fabric for a coat, green fabric for a coat, black for a dress, green for a dress, blue silk fabric for a nightgown and a nightdress, bed jacket and a lot of other necessities. My fiance paid for all of it and he said to me "this is the payment for a year's worth of work, you worked and you earned it and you bought it".

I was really very happy.

Interview details

Interviewee: Rebi Evgin
Feride Petilon
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Istanbul, Turkey


Rebi Evgin
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