Samuel Coyas with his son Yasef

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This is a photo of my son Yasef Jojo Coyas in 1952. He is about 3-4 months old here. My son, Jojo, was born on the 3rd of June, in 1952, at the Zeynep Kamil Hospital in Uskudar. We had his Brit-Mila at home. At that time, moel Geron, used to make these operations. A circumcision robe was sewn from "crepe de Chine" [Chinese crepe] for the baby. My mother carried and placed him on a pillow which was on my uncle Nisim's lap (finally the two siblings had reconciled), and the circumcision took place. All of our relatives, and close friends were present at the ceremony. Later on, a big table was set up. We all dined together, and gave candies out as had become customary. He was the first grandchild of both of the families (Baruh and Coyas), and hence the darling of his uncles and aunts. He was a very naughty child. We sent him to the Mestra [Greek kindergarden] near by, at the age of three. Atina, Marika and Pandeli, two Greek sisters and their brother were looking after small Jewish children in their small and simple home. This was the only kindergarden facility, in Kuzguncuk. My son graduated from the Sociology department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1981 he married Melek Gundogan, a pharmacist from Adana. We had the wedding in Israel, in a Sephardic Kal [synagogue] in Allenby [A major street in Jerusalem.]. Afterwards we gave a dinner to our guests in the hall of the synagogue. All of our friends and relatives came to the wedding, but nobody was able to come from Turkey, except for my daughter. Today they have a 19-year-old daughter called Lisa and an 18-year-old son called Shmuel. My son is working in the administrative department of a hospital, and his wife in a pharmacy. They live in Bat Yam. My grandson has just finished high school. He will start his military service in 2 months. We visit them frequently.

Interview details

Interviewee: Samuel Coyas
Tuna Saylag
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Istanbul, Turkey


Samuel Coyas
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before WW II:
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