Photo taken in:AnkaraYear when photo was taken:1949Country name at time of photo:TurkeyCountry name today:Turkey
Here you can see me (first from right) during my military service with Mario Kohen. The photo was taken in Ankara in 1949. After I finished the St. Benoit Lycee, I went to do my military service. My preparation regiment was in Bolayir, Gelibolu. We had a 60-day period of preparation. We used to go out on market leave on Saturdays and Sundays. At that time there was a Jewish community in Gelibolu and they had provided me with a 'home' paper, with which I was able to prove that I had a home to go to when on leave. My older brother had a partner called Eskenazi. They had a client in Gelibolu called Kandiyoti. I got my 'home' paper from them. So, on weekends, when I went out on leave I stayed either at a hotel or with the Kandiyotis. On Saturdays I went to the synagogue at Gelibolu. After my 60 days were over, I was sent to Ankara in 1949. I went to the officer's school in Ankara. We had relatives in Ankara and I was able to get the same kind of 'home' paper there too. I could go on leave on Saturdays. The best and most famous place in Ankara was the Karpic Restaurant, near Ulus. Even ministers frequented that place. I used to go there with my officer friends. I had a Jewish roommate, Alber Mesulam, and we were very good friends. I used to go to Karpic with him. There were others at this officer's school I was friends with. Mario Kohen for example, he is the dentist, Davut Kohen's father. Anyway, I finished this officer's school, actually with a lot of difficulty. It was harder than St. Benoit even! However, I did it and became an officer. At this school there was a captain who liked Jews and treated them very well. He knew I was Jewish. At that time, after school was finished, we had to draw lots to see where we would be serving. When it was my turn, I was really lucky. I drew the Izmir Polygon Regiment. I served there for six months. I had a very comfortable and nice time there.