Feride Petilon

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This is a photo of my daughter Feride. She is now Feride Petilon but at the time of this photo she was Feride Franko. She is sitting on her baby chair. She was a very sweet and pretty baby. This is the year 1958. There is a folding chair beside her. The baby chairs at that time were different from the ones today. At that time we used to put their potties under them while they were sitting at their chairs so they could go potty.

While I was pregnant to my daughter, we experienced a big panic. I had German measles during my pregnancy. This illness is totally harmless in children. But in pregnant women it is the cause of a handicapped child. Blindness or the lack of an organ is an example of this. My doctor said that my baby was four months old and had completed all of her development when I got the illness. We believed him. We were very nervous after the birth. We went through a lot of distress till my daughter reached the age of one, and only then did we understand that all of her reflexes were healthy. We would always shake a rattle at her to see if she could hear or not. We would hold colorful objects in our hands and check to see if she could follow them or not. Actually it was a risk which we shouldn't have taken. Thank God though, my daughter started walking early, and was very succesful at school.

My daughter Feride Petilon entered the university exams two times, after finishing St. Benoit French School for Girls [French Catholic high school]. On her first try she gained a place in the French literature department of Istanbul University. [23] During those years, there was a lot of terrorism between the left and right in universities [24]. She didn't want to go on under those circumstances. As a very good student, she didn't think French literature was a worthy subject for her. In her second try she gained a place in Business Studies. She was now married and living on the Asian side, and she was unable to complete her studies when she had a baby. She didn't have an orderly working life. From time to time she did some private tutoring, and made costume jewelry. She also worked for Assis. Prof. Sami Gulgoz at Koc University [25] on one of his experiments in psychology. The experiment was researching the relationship of memory and language. They used people who spoke Ladino and turkish in this experiment and their speech patterns were later scientifically analyzed. She made interviews and wrote articles for the Shalom newspaper [26]. She participated in the Goztepe Cultural Association [Jewish youth club on the Asian side] at a managerial level.

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Interviewee: Lina Franko
Feride Petilon
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Istanbul, Turkey


Feride Petilon
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