Country name at time of photo:TurkeyCountry name today:Turkey
This is a photo of me with my best friends Jojo Bati, Misel Boritzer and Rozi Toledo; I don't remember the fourth person. The photo was taken in 1945 or 1946 in Turkey, but I don't know exactly where.
I went to secondary school in Urfa, which I finished in 1943. I had to go on with my education, but there was no lycee in Urfa. I came to Istanbul in 1943 because I wanted to study at Robert College, but I was too late for the exams. Others who had come from Urfa had gone to study at this school. My brother enrolled me in the St. Benoit Lycee. Then I started living with my brother. I graduated in 1948-49. My family was in Urfa. I used to go there and visit until 1945-46. However, after the Urfa Events, I didn't go there again. As I was the youngest, my mother was very attached to me and she would worry herself sick every time I came to Urfa. She didn't want me to go, so after 1946 I never went to Urfa again.
After I finished the St. Benoit Lycee, I went to do my military service. My preparation regiment was in Bolayir, Gelibolu. We had a 60-day period of preparation. We used to go out on market leave on Saturdays and Sundays. At that time there was a Jewish community in Gelibolu and they had provided me with a 'home' paper, with which I was able to prove that I had a home to go to when on leave. My older brother had a partner called Eskenazi. They had a client in Gelibolu called Kandiyoti. I got my 'home' paper from them. So, on weekends, when I went out on leave I stayed either at a hotel or with the Kandiyotis. On Saturdays I went to the synagogue at Gelibolu.