Family souvenir

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This photo was also taken as a souvenir but for what reason I don’t really remember.  It was taken in 1966.  The man standing in the back is my wife’s father, Menahem Bitek Behar.  Then sitting down in front, you can see me and my wife Suzi Schilton.  The little boy on our lap is our son Rober Schilton.

My wife's father, Menahem Behar bitek was from Ortakoy, and he was very religious because his own father, Moshe Behar was a rabbi.  Menahem Behar therefore raised his daughter with a very strong religious identity. 

My wife, Suzi graduated from the St. Benoit Lycée [French Catholic high school].  We are distantly related to her family actually.  Our relatives in Ortakoy used to praise this girl a lot.  After I broke up from my first fiancée, Beti Konfino, our relatives said Suzi was a great girl, a very good girl.  So I made a decision and one day they introduced us at one of our relative's homes.  Then they said, "now that you know each other, why don't you go out together for a while"; so we started going out to get to know each other better.  This did not last long because my wife's father was a very strict man; he did not think we should go out together for 6 or 8 months.  After a short time he wanted me to make a decision, it was either Yes or No. So I said Yes.  But he said, "It is not enough for you to say, yes, I agree.  You have to get engaged".  So we got engaged in a matter of 1-2 months.

My younger child, a son, Rober Schilton was born in Istanbul, in 1964.  He was born at the French Hospital and his brit-mila [brit milah] was also done there.  My sister's husband, Aleks Samuel held him and my sister brought my son to the hall.  Then there was a buffet for the guests.  When our son was 13 years old, we also had a Bar-Mitzva [Bar Mitzvah] for him.  We had the religious ceremony at the Sisli Synagogue [19].  Then that night we had another celebration at the Tarabya Hotel ballroom. A lot of guests and relatives came, there was great entertainment, live orchestra etc... Then we cut a big cake, and all in all it was a beautiful fiesta [Ladino for celebration].  He recited a speech both at the synagogue and at the ballroom.

Rober studied primary school at the Kurtulus Primary School [public school], then he went to High School [English High School for Boys] [20] for secondary school and he wento on to Robert College [21] for the lycée.  Then he studied Business Administration at Marmara University [22] and did his Master's degree at Bogazici University [23].  He was a very good student and was able to get a very good and very strong education.  He is a talkative person who likes to tell things in detail.  He will give every detail of even the smallest thing he is talking about.  He never cuts things short, so much so that sometimes we tell him "just cut it short and come to the point"; but he answers "oh, no you are going to listen from beginning to the end".  He never comes to the point quickly but he tells a good story.

Interview details

Interviewee: Sami Schilton
Yusuf Sarhon
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Istanbul, Turkey


Sami Schilton
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Ottoman Empire
before WW II:
Import representative
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Other Person

Suzi Schilton
Year of birth:
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before WW II:
  • Previous family name: 
    Bitek Behar
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