Fahir Selami

Fahir Selami
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This photo was taken in Istanbul in 1931. This is Fahir Selami, a friend and member of our Haydarpasha Association. His father was my teacher of Ottoman language. I was a member of the Social Benevolence Association of Haydarpasha [Cercle Israelite de Haidar-Pacha, Israelite Circle of Haydarpasha] in my youth. From 1931 to 1936 I served as the president of the literature division of this association, 'Cercle Litteraire,' as we used to call it. About fifteen youngsters, both girls and boys, of an average age of seventeen attended this division. Amongst them were, as far as I can remember, Jozef Alkahe, Salomon Azarya, Albert Nassi, Robert Sarfati, Moris Barbut and my best friend, Anri Kaneti. Later Anri went to Morocco and established himself there. I met him once in Paris, but we didn't have further contact. We used to gather in the Cercle's locale twice a week, usually after 8pm, organizing conferences, debates, concerts, meetings and the like. In Haydarpasha we had many Muslim, Greek and some Armenian neighbors. I don't recall any anti-Semitic incident - neither in the neighborhood nor in school - I don't recall even hearing anything to imply such a thing or any alienating feeling. On the contrary, in our association, there was one young Muslim man named Fahir Selami, whose father was my teacher of Turkish language, and one young Armenian man named Serkis Kalebciyan who could talk Judeo-Spanish much better than we did.

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Interviewee: Eli Perahya
Naim Guleryuz
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Istanbul, Turkey


Fahir Selami
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