Lina and Isak Franko

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This photo is of course important for me because it is a photo taken on my wedding day. At that time there were no photographers at the synagogues and therefore no photos taken inside the synagogue or during the wedding ceremony itself. The thing to do at that time was to go to the studio after the wedding and have wedding photos taken. So of course, we did what everyone else did. We went to the studio and had our photos taken after the wedding ceremony.

Heskiya Hatem and Soli Hatem, [my husband's friends and at the same time distant relatives of my grandmother from her father's side] introduced us to each other again. We came together one New Year's Eve and went to the cinema the following day. Isak Franko announced his intention of marrying me through our common friends. When my family told me that there was someone who wanted to marry me, I said if it was Isak Franko, then I would agree. The news spread out fast in Ortakoy. Isak Franko came to us with his mother, and brought us a box of candies. The permission for my marriage was given in the month of June of the year 1947.

I remember a very happy atmosphere when it comes to my wedding memories. We got married at the Zulfaris Synagogue, which is used as a museum today, on the 6th of June in 1948. This synagogue had a positive feature for the wedding ceremonies. It was regarded as good luck for the brides to climb up the stairs till they reached the tevah. There is a staircase with 15-20 steps at the entrance of the Zulfaris Synagogue. All the girls who were single at that moment, my cousins, my friends from the neighborhood, all wrote their names on the soles of my shoes. [There was a belief that to write one's name on the sole of a bride's shoe would cause a single girl to get married] My friends refreshed my make-up. (In those times there were no professional make-up people to come and make up the bride and her fiamily like ther is today.) Actually, they were watching me with a little bit of envy. Though I was the youngest one among the cousins I was the one who got married the earliest. I was 18 years old. I had rented both my wedding dress and the veil, but I had had my veil made according to my taste. Our wedding was quite a modest ceremony, but all of our crowded family members, and all of Ortakoy was there. After all the bride was from Ortakoy. My bridal veil got ripped by a cat the day following the wedding. Consequently, we had to buy it. We went to Yalova [a city near Istanbul, which is famous for its spas] for our honeymoon.

Interview details

Interviewee: Lina Franko
Feride Petilon
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Istanbul, Turkey


Lina Franko
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