Seyfi and his teacher

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This photo is of my younger son Seyfi and his primary school teacher. Seyfi was about 7 years old in this picture. The name of the school was "Yeni Kolej", meaning "new college".

I returned from my second military service in 1941. We had been married for six years, then. We could have a family. Of our children, Selim was born in 1943, and Seyfi in 1945. We had been living in Talimhane, Taksim since 1942, and raised our children there. We moved to Siracevizler, Sisli in 1958 [a neighborhood on the European side].

We had our sons' circumcision [brit milah] ceremonies at the hospital they were born in. (I think it was the American Hospital). That year I was the president of Matan Baseter [a local Jewish institution to help the poor]. For that reason the chief rabbi of the time, Rav David Asseo, was among the guests. There were friends, family and relatives at the ceremonies.

Suzan, took care of Selim an d Seyfi very well. We never went on trips, leaving them to someone to care of them. Only when they grew up, she felt comfortable about leaving them behind, and thus we went abroad. We had the children's Barmitzva [bar mitzvah] ceremonies at the Bnai Brith hall. .

We used to speak French and Spanish, with my late wife. Of course we also spoke Turkish. We usually spoke Turkish with the children. In this way, the children became acquainted with these two languages when they were small.

Seyfi studied his secondary school in the French Catholic school called St. Michel, and then he graduated from a Turkish lycee called Ata Koleji. Then he spent one year in Israel. After that, he finished the Istanbul University Dental Faculty. He became a very good dentist.
Now he's continuing on with his career, as a good dentist. He married Suzetta whom I regard as a daughter, and love very much, in 1975. In 1979, my granddaughter, Nisya was born. Nisya, finished Bilgi University. She is now the manager of the Jewish Museum. Hopefully, we'll have Nisya married in June.

Interview details

Interviewee: Moiz Isman
Meri Schild
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Istanbul, Turkey


Seyfi Isman
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