Stroll in Taksim

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This picture was taken in 1952 in Taksim. From the left, my sister-in-law Korin Levi, her daughter Janti, my older brother Izak Levi and my mother Janti Levi. They had a stroll in Taksim that day, nothing else. My mother lived a good life with them. My mother was part of an upscale family but she was an unlucky woman. When my brother got married, he took her into his care and took good care of her. My older brother even bought theatre tickets for her friends and used to say "come on, mom, go to the movies, go to the theatre". My older brother Izak Levi was born in Istanbul Shishane, in 1921. He studied in the Jewish highschool, completed junior high. He did not go to highschool. He raised himself since he was a smart and active person. He worked in Taksim in a textile factory at the age of 17. The owner in the textile factory was a Druze, named Çikvasvili. He worked there until he went to the military. While working there he got engaged to a girl named Merkada Eskenazi. The person who became his wife later on, Korin Leon lived above us and was very much in love with my brother. She heard that he got engaged and was very upset. She sends her mother over and says to my mom: "why were we not made aware, whereas Korin loves Izak very much". My mom relates this to my brother. After a while, they weren't getting along with Merkada and they separated. Following this my brother got engaged to Korin, they stayed engaged for 7 years. Since they were engaged so young, their engagement lasted a long time, in the meantime he went to the military. He had a good military service in Ankara. They marry a while after he got back. She was a very good woman. She loved me like a sister, took care of me when my mom wasn't there, we lived in the same house. She was 10-12 years older than me. 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. When they were married they lived in Kuledibi, they attracted attention because of their wealth. They bought a house, they bought a car, they had everything. Ten years pass and the accident happens.

Interview details

Interviewee: Zelda Ers
Yusuf Sarhon
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Istanbul, Turkey


Izak Levi
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after WW II
before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant
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