The wedding of Izak and Kadem Coyas

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  • Photo taken in:
    Istanbul
    Year when photo was taken:
    1955
    Country name at time of photo:
    Turkey
    Country name today:
    Turkey
This is a photo of my brother Izak Coyas’s wedding to Kaden Sevevi on 12 June 1955. You can see Kadem Sevevi Coyas on the left in her white wedding dress and my brother Izak Coyas standing beside her. The photo was in great probability taken at the Foto Reks in Kadikoy where they went after the wedding to have their pictures taken. The wedding took place at the Kuzguncuk Beth Yaakov Synagogue. There was no celebration after the wedding. The couple went to a hotel in Istanbul for their honeymoon. All our relatives and also all of Kadem’s relatives from Ankara came to the wedding. Kadem’s parents Merkada and Kemal Sevevi and her sister Dina Hakim were all there. Kadem’s father was the shammas of the Ankara Synagogue. My brother, Izak Coyas, was born on the 26th of Tevet 5685, in 1925, in our house in Yedikule, just like me. We grew up like twins. We lived through our childhood difficulties together. Though I was only two years older than him, he put me in place of our father. My mother also sent him to the Mestra, then to the Marko Pasha primary school and the Mahaziketora. After his Bar-mitzva, which we did at the Beth Nisim synagogue, he started working for a cap dealer. After I came back from the military, he was drafted as a soldier, and went to Sivas for 36 months. He lived with us till he was married. In 1955, he married Kadem Sevevi, the daughter of a family from Ankara, through proposition [arranged marriage]. In this way, he left us and settled down in a flat with his wife, near us. In 1956, he had a son named Jojo, then in 1960, a daughter named Fortune. After a while, he bought the flat below mine on the ground floor, and he became my neighbor. In this way, we were all together again. Our wives also got along very well. We lived in peace and love for years. We celebrated the festivals together, usually at my house. Our children grew up like siblings. My brother was very fond of my son, Jojo, as he was his first nephew. He used to take him out quite a lot, especially when he was single. As he was a very patient person who loved children very much, this habit of his continued when he had his own children. He would gather both, mine and his children, and take them to the cinemas, or to the Luna Park [amusement park], or to the parks, on Sundays. He would usually buy presents and have surprises for them. My brother, in a way, was the Santa Claus for our children. His wife was like the second mother of my children. When we went on trips with my wife, we always left our children with them. My son and daughter would feel happy about our leaving instead of feeling sad. Izak was engaged in the shirt trade with an Armenian partner for long years at Cakmakcilar Slope. They lived in Kuzguncuk till 1977. When the Jewish population decreased in Kuzguncuk, they sold their house there, and moved to Caddebostan. He retired, after marrying off his children. When they lost their daughter-in-law at a very young age from cancer, five years ago, they moved near his son, who had become a widow with two children in order to support him. This went on till his wife Kadem had a stroke. Upon this, they returned to their home. His daughter on the other hand, immigrated to Israel with her family 7 years ago. Our relation, based on love, is like the old times. We visit them every week, on Saturdays.

Interview details

Interviewee: Samuel Coyas
Interviewer:
Tuna Saylag
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2005
Istanbul, Turkey

KEY PERSON

Izak Coyas
Year of birth:
1925
City of birth:
Istanbul
Country name at time of birth:
Turkey
Occupation
before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant

Other Person

Kadem Coyas
Year of birth:
1934
City of birth:
Ankara
Country name at time of birth:
Turkey
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife

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