Family dinner

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

This is a photo of a lot of the members of some of my mother’s sisters and brother.

Third from the right you can see my mother’s sister Rasel Beraha. Second from the right, sitting down is my mother’s other sister, Sara. Sara had fallen in love with a Greek guy and had married him and gone to live in Greece. She even changed her religion and converted to Christianity. The man standing behind Sara is her husband, George, who used to work at the stock market. The young man standing beside George is their son, Koco and the lady in front of him is his wife.

The man standing at the back, third from the right is my mother’s 12th sibling, her brother Bensiyon.

I have no idea why the family is gathered here, but obviously it’s some dinner of some sort.

My mother Fortune Adevah, was born in Istanbul, in 1882. My mother had 10 sisters, and one brother. I remember some of their names: Luiza (f), Roza (f), Recina (f), Ester (f). My mother was the most beautiful one amongst the 10 sisters. All of these sisters emigrated to the States and got married there, when I was only about 10 years old. I remember them vaguely. The only memory I have left from them is that sometimes they used to send 10 dollars in an envelope as a present to my mother. I used to exchange these dollars into Turkish liras. At that time, one dollar was 180 kurus. [one lira = 100 kurus]
From my aunts, Esther, went to Cuba from the States. She married someone named Baruh. They had two daughters. (I don't know the name of her husband, nor her daughters' names.)
My aunt Luiza married someone whose surname was Biton in the US, and had a son named Rafael. Rafael Biton was a taxi driver. He came to Istanbul during 1935. He found us and stayed over at our house for a week. We were the same age, and had a very nice time together. Later on we lost each other again.
My mother was educated up to primary level. My mother was a very good housewife and a very gentle mother. As is usual in all the families, my mother managed my father. My father was a very clever, cheerful person who really had a sense of humor. He had a very gentle heart, and loved me very much. I grew up in a very peaceful and understanding family. Both my mother and my father shopped for home. They had certain stores, which they shopped from. My mother continued going to her workplace, once a week as a part time job in Beyoglu, [Beyoglu, then called "Pera", the neighborhood of the time where the most fashionable stores, cinemas, cafes and etc… were located] after having gotten married to my father. She received her payments on a daily basis.

Interview details

Interviewee: Moiz Isman
Interviewer:
Meri Schild
Month of interview:
June
Year of interview:
2004
Istanbul, Turkey

KEY PERSON

Rasel Beraha
City of birth:
Istanbul
Country name at time of birth:
Ottoman Empire
Occupation
after WW II:
Housewife
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Akkoen
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

Other Person

Bensiyon Akkoen
Country name at time of birth:
Ottoman Empire

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