Diploma

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  • Photo taken in:
    Istanbul
    Country name at time of photo:
    Turkey
    Country name today:
    Turkey

This document is my husband's Jewish Middle School diploma. Even though he attended highschool till the last year, because he did not get a passing grade from one of the subjects, he only has a middle school diploma.

My husband Avram Arguete was a very principled man, hard-working and honest.  He had the nickname "Fuhrer" in Ortakoy because of his adherence to his principles and his harsh reactions.  Just think about it.  He was of short stature, always in a hurry, someone who walked fast and who was anxious.  Our meeting was the result of a coincidence.  In reality, when I started to grow up and to develop, it was an indication that it was time for matchmaking for me.  I came to Istanbul for this purpose, but when it was found out that the person they were thinking of introducing me to wasn't appropriate, I started waiting for the return trip. 

My husband encounters a friend while walking absentmindedly in the street after this separation.  He tells him of his troubles, the solution is a new matchmaking, looking for a new fiancee.  Mrs. Rosa Palashi was our neighbor.  She was a family friend of theirs.  When Mrs. Rosa Palachi learned about Albert Arguete's situation, she opened her house to us.  We met there.  My husband was a handsome, well-dressed man.  I was there too.  My father and my husband went to the back room.  I waited in the livingroom.  When their discussion was finished, they told me I was promised.  My father did not even ask me, the apple of his eye, if I liked Albert or not.  I did not react at all to this event, it was as if what needed to happen, happened.  It seemed to me that that was what was supposed to happen.  My husband did not react at all too.  He accepted it very coolly.

The next day, there was a meeting again, tratos (negotiations, i.e. the money that the girl's side is supposed to give to the man for a marriage) started.  My husband's aunt Tant Regina acted as the go-between.  My mother-in-law had a voice, but she never used it.  Tant Regina finished it.  They settled on three thousand liras.  Because my husband was a very honest man, he clarified that he was going to give one thousand liras of this money to his sister Ceni who was going to get married before us.  In this way, two thousand liras would be left in my husband's hands.  When the negotiation ended, we, the two fiances, went out.  My husband took me to my aunt's house whose housekey I had, upon a pretext, and asked me to clean up all the make-up on my face.  His jealous nature was evident at that moment.  Yes, he really was very jealous, he did not even want me to go to Bursa.  No seya ke me arevaten los flortez de Bursa (Maybe the boyfriends of Bursa would grab me).

The engagement party took place in an establishment called Belle Vu.  I don't even remember if there were rings exchanged.  We got engaged on June 24th, 1946,  the civil marriage was on October 24th, 1946, and the wedding on November 24th, 1946 in the Zulfaris Synagogue (Zulfaris Synagogue was on the synagogues in Istanbul.  This synagogue was turned into the 500th Year Foundation Museum  in the last few years).  One of the most famous traditions of Bursa was the showing of the dowry. My mother prepared a beatiful dowry, the dowry was shown in the accompaniment of the lute.  My mother-in-law did not pay much importance to such stuff.  She had just been widowed when I got married anyways.  She did not have the state of mind to deal with this stuff.  But tradition was tradition and it was done.  A black coat, light-colored coat, black suit, light-colored suit, silk broidered nightgowns, tablecloths were integral parts of a dowry.  On the wedding night we went to the Park Hotel (in Taksim, one of the most luxurious hotels of the time) in great secrecy.  The two of us were alone and no one had been made aware.  I still haven't understood the reason for this secrecy.  Nothing was ever told to anyone in the family.  As if, if it was kept secret and nobody knew, my husband's business would go better.  He thought this way.  He was afraid of a lot of things, the evil eye, the jealous eye, he did not like to be talked about.  From this point of view, he would do everything in secrecy, and prevent being talked about in his own way.

Interview details

Interviewee: Janet Arguete
Interviewer:
Feride Petilon
Month of interview:
August
Year of interview:
2006
Istanbul, Turkey

KEY PERSON

Albert Arguete
Jewish name:
Avram
Year of birth:
1921
City of birth:
Istanbul
Country name at time of birth:
The Ottoman Empire
Year of death:
2003
City of death:
Istanbul
Country of death:
Turkey
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
after WW II:
Skilled self-employed

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