Albert Ozlevi and relatives

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In this photograph, from the left, Anjel Mesullam, my brother-in-law Sami Mesullam, my wife Lüsi Özlevi, myself, my brother-in-law’s daughter Tina, my son Yusuf Özlevi, my daughter Çela Özlevi.

My wife Lüsi Civre was born in Istanbul in 1949. Her mother tongue is Judeo Espagnol and Turkish. She got her education in Norte dame de Lour, she dropped out in 3rd grade. She never worked. Women didn't really work in those days. We used to say what do you mean working, what do you mean studying.Her father Kemal Civre had a business of shirts in Riza Pasa, he was a manufacturer and wholesaler. Her mother's name is Eliza Civre.I met her through my father-in-law's uncle, Marko Civre, in Edirne, by matchmaking as was befitting the times. Being the man myself, we came to Istanbul one Saturday. My father-in-law's store was in R?za Pa?a then. The people who arranged our union, Mesulam Telvi and Marko Razon, who were my father-in-law's neighbors, knew me well. They were originally from Edirne too. Marko Razon was in haberdashery, we were in haberdashery. When my older brother went to the military, I would take care of the haberdashery store in Edirne, in Alipasha, they knew me. Marko Civre,  Marko Razon and Mesulam Telvi, all introduced me to them with the understanding that I am a really good kid. We left there, together with my current wife Lüsi and our families, we went to A?iyan all together. We had tea all together. Later, they said "go on, take a stroll". I was 27 then. We strolled together. In the evening, there was a place called Club 12, I took my wife there. The next day we met at noon again, there was a show at the sports arena, I can't recall what show it was, we went there. Before when we were walking, she said "ah, what a beatiful t-shirt" admiring a man's shirt when we were passing in front of a store. I immediately went in and bought it. I took off my shirt next to the sport arena in the open and put on the t-shirt. She liked this a lot. I came to Istanbul every weekend for 3 weeks more or less, we went out together. In reality, my business wasn't that accommodating. Because we dealt in luxury haberdashery, Saturdays were our busiest days. There would be a lot of business because government employees were off. Edirne was a city of schools, there was no school Wednesday afternoons, there would be a lot of work, very good business transactions. After going to Istanbul 3 weekends in a row, we came to a decision and said let's get engaged. My father and mother absolutely wanted me to get engaged. I was more interested in Muslim Turkish girls then. That is why they wanted me to get engaged rightaway. No one ever thought of assimilation then. We decided to get engaged at the end of 3 weeks. 

Interview details

Interviewee: Albert Ozlevi
Yusuf Sarhon
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Istanbul, Turkey


Albert Ozlevi
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Businessman, Retail merchant

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Anjel Mesulam
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