This photo was taken at the Kilyos beach in 1932. I was born on 23rd March 1914, so this means I am 18 in this photo.
I started school when I was 6-7. Before that, we used to go to the rabbi's home in Ortakoy. There were a few of us, and the rabbi would teach us how to read and write in Hebrew and also religious things. He gave us a religious education. Then I went to the Alliance [Israelite Universelle] school in Ortakoy. I studied in French. After studying there for a few years, I continued my studies at the new Alliance school in Galata. At that time the classes went from 6 to 1, 1 being the highest class. I studied until grade 1, then went to St. Jean Baptiste school. This was a Catholic school run by monks. I went to that school because first of all it was free, or very cheap, and secondly, my cousins also went to that school and we knew it was a good school. Plus the language of instruction was in French and I had studied in French until that time. There were 2-3 Jews in my class, and when it was time for the Christian students to have their religious classes, called "catechism", we used to leave and go home.
I never had any talent for music. My real hobby was painting. There was a kind of painting that was called "decorative painting" and it was not done with brushes. I had a tutor that taught me how to do this. I used to spend all my spare time with this kind of painting. I painted cushions and handkerchiefs.
We never used to go on holidays when I was young. In summers and at weekends, we used to go to one of the many places like Kilyos, where people would go for swimming. At that time, the seas in Istanbul were very clean and wonderful for swimming.