Izak Levi and fiancee

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This picture was taken in 1937, in Galatasaray at a studio whose name I wouldn’t know. My older brother Izak Levi and his fiancee Korin Deleon. This photograph is a great memory for me. We used to live in the same house. They lived on the upper floor from us, we on one floor down from them. My sister-in-law’s family was our neighbor. My brother was still engaged, he hadn’t even gone to the military service yet. My sister-in-law was about 15-16 years old, my brother about 17-18 years old. They loved each other a lot and got engaged.My sister-in-law waited 4-5 years for him to complete his military service. After he came back from the military, they worked hard and later got married. They had a daughter named Janti a year after they got married, and 4 years later another daughter, Süzet. He was very successful at his job during this time. His job was boxmaking in Eminönü. He had a lot of acquaintances in the market. He had a friend, Albert Morhayim, and there was another one, the son-in-law of a pharmacist at the kal de los frankos (ashkenazi synagogue), I don't remember the name, they became partners in the glassware business. They obtained a big warehouse in Eminönü. At the time the crystals from Chekoslovakia were famous, they were selling those. They became incredibly rich. My older brother was 36 years old when he died. He was married, had two daughters. He had a very, very successful business. He sold glassware and china. They were 3 partners, I was newly married then. He opened a store for my husband and my other older brother. So they could have jobs. My brother was very rich. My mother was like a queen in my brother's home, they lived together. My brother had everything. At the time, (he died in 1960, a little before the hanging of Menderes), he bought flats, bought a car, noone had a telephone then, he bought one, crystal chandeliers, he was that rich. One day his car breaks down, at the time Vatan caddesi (street) was being newly built, an Israeli firm, Soley Bone was constructing the street. He gets up and goes all the way there, takes his car to a repairshop. He had a clerk, he says "come with me, we will go and come back together". But the clerk declined. He goes alone. He takes the car to Vatan caddesi. And there he hits a tractor trailer. The steering wheel hits his heart. He gets out of the car, he is fine, he was talking. He walked to Çapa, he went to the hospital walking. As soon as he entered the hospital, "save me, I feel very bad, I had an accident, my car stayed there, help me" he says. They kept him there till the evening. While waiting he had internal bleeding and died there. He was 36 years old, he left behind two girls. One was 10 years old, the other 6.

Interview details

Interviewee: Zelda Ers
Yusuf Sarhon
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Istanbul, Turkey


Izak Levi
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Year of death:
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Country of death:
after WW II
before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant
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