Photo taken in:IstanbulYear when photo was taken:1931Country name at time of photo:TurkeyCountry name today:Turkey
I was born on May, 8th, 1924 in Istanbul as the child of a middle class family and grew up facing a lot of challenges.
I lost my mother when I was 3 years old. Even though my father remarried, he raised me and my older sister himself.
I am 7 years old in this photograph. It is a souvenir from first grade. I was studying in Okchu Musa elementary school, on Okchu Musa street in Kasimpasha, close to our home.
This was a Turkish school. The lady teacher in this photograph was our only teacher from first to fifth grade.
I would go around 8:00 in the morning, and return home at 4:00 in the afternoon. I walked there since it was close.
Among these children, the two girls sitting in front, in the center were twins.
They are no longer alive today, I think. The only thing I remember, the name of the girl sitting in first row, on the left was Klara.
There were 6-7 Jewish kids along with me in this class. The rest were Muslim.
Since our elders spoke Judeo-Spanish at home, I learned Turkish in school.
I spoke and read Turkish quite well when I was around 8 - 9 years old.
When they spoke Turkish at home though, I made fun of my elders because of their pronunciation.
I was a child of the streets and I ditched school very often to play. My favorite class was Turkish class.
I loved reading a lot. My last teacher was Mr. Nurettin. We had a single teacher.
There were classes such as geography, history, Turkish, social studies and math. There were no religious studies and foreign language education then.
I liked all my teachers a lot in general.
I never had a long-term friendship from my school years.
When I was 11 years old, in last grade, I used to spend time together with the most beautiful girl in class, during lunch break.
I think her name was Beki. We were usually together on the way to and from school too.