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This is a photo taken in 1933. At that time, the residential areas ended in Sisli. There was nothing after Sisli. No Mecidiyekoy, like today. It was all empty lands and fields. There used to be garden called Barbaouka. This was a fruit garden. This photo was taken in May. We went there with various friends. I don’t remember the names of all of them. The first from left to right is Albert Par, I don’t remember the second, the third is Izak Rofe and his siter is beside him; the sixth is Moiz Atiyas and the girl kneeling in front is his sister, and then there’s me at the right. I don’t remember the others. That day was probably a weekend or holiday and we went there for some fresh spring air. We sat at the garden, had lunch there and that’s it really. Moiz Atiyas, my best friend ever, was born in 1330 [hijri calendar], which means 1914. He was born in Istanbul. He used to live on the opposite corner from our house in Ortaköy. He went to the Italian school as a child. Then after he finished school, when he was 17-18, he started to work at a transportation firm in Sirkeci. He worked there all his life and retired from there. We were always together from our childhood on. We used to play football together, then as young men we went out together. We did our military service at the same time, we even served in the 20 classes in the same place. We were even staying in the same tent. We went on going out in the same group after we finished our miltary service. He married a friend of ours, Elvir Barzel in 1947. They never had any children. His wife worked at a pharmacy in Karakoy but she was not a pharmacist herself. Our friendship continued until Moiz died. I don’t really remember what year he died in. His wife also died a few years ago. When I finished school I started working at an office writing letters in French. This was quite a big firm that was doing 'commission importation'. It was called Rotterman. That was my first job. I was doing the correspondence in French with firms abroad. That’s what I was doing in 1933.

Interview details

Interviewee: IZAK SARHON
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Istanbul, Turkey


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The Ottoman Empire
before WW II:
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