Roboly, worked on the Aidin railways, and his grandfathers came
from Arles in the south of France. In 1911, his father built his own
house and the neighbours were the Italian Russo family. The house with
a guardhouse over the front gate and situated across the ‘All Saints’
church belonged to the British Blackler family since the 19th century.
Eugenie, the wife of the French emperor Napoleon 3rd visited this
house. It was sold to the Italian Falbo family in the 1950s and they
in turn in 1990 to a Turk and the garden losses its former glory.
Historical note: Napoleon III
becomes emperor in 1852, marries the Spanish Countess de Teba Eugenie
(1826-1920) in 1853 and dies in the third year of his exile in England
in 1873 (Encyclopedia Brittannica). She came to have an important influence
on her husband’s foreign policy. After the disasterous battle of Sedan
(1870), she joined her family in exile in England. The second visit
of Countess Eugenie to Istanbul is 42 years later in 1911, however it
is not clear which of these dates also coincides with her visit to Boudjah.
Despite her advanced years by this date, this visit was ‘coloured’ by
gossip rife amongst the Turks at the time that she had come not primarily
for diplomatic reasons but to see again her ‘flame’ the Sultan Abdulhamit
II. The mere suggestion of an affair between the two all those years
back, was scandalous for both Christians and Moslems of the empire at
the time, though this was merely a rumour. A web
site for details her first visit to the Ottoman capital in 1869 - image of her temporary palace.
The ruined house on the side of the entrance to the Heykel square of
Buca is where Stephanie Farkoh used to live until 1965. The main family
house was the former (until 2000) council house.
The now non-existent English social club was on the main Şirinyer
to Buca road, after the present prison, just before the (former) hospital.
The hospital used to be the Dutch background De Jongh house, later belonging
to the Italian Charles Sperco 1935-1940. The De Jongh family used to
The opposite side of the Buca Heykel square used to be the horse stables,
later the house of Fred and Julia Gout. They lived with his sister Frances
until 1930-35. The Gouts were one of the old families of Buca and probably
of British Huguenot background. The geographical distribution of the
other members of the family: Peter Gout – Bornova, Sydney Gout – Alsancak,
Edgar Gout – Buca near the Allioti house. Near the Allioti house is
also the English Barff house.
Note: According to the tombstone
of Edgar Gout in Bornova: 1865-1946.
In the 1950s the secretary of the Buca church was Miss Gladys Routh.
A life long lesbian, though respected, she moved to Bornova in 1953
from her house near the Buca train station, and is buried abroad.
Note: Examining the church records
retained in the Alsancak Anglican church, we see that in actual fact,
Miss Routh was church secretary to Buca All Saints from around 1929
to 1958, and her many communiqués to the various Consuls show
her to be a feisty and tireless campaigner in her sometimes (1930s)
critical fight (based on the legality of Ottoman title deeds and firman)
to save the church and cemetery from the somewhat bullish attitude of
the Izmir vali and his officials, keen to flex the nationalistic muscle
of the newly established republic.
Again near the station was the now non-existent house of the Frenchman
Robert Mazade. He was between 1930-35 the last director of the Aidin
(O.R.C.) railways before it was nationalised. Buca was the place where
high ranking officials of the railways used to live; the names she can
remember are, Lorimer, Hanson.
Gavrili was one of the last Greek residents of Buca.
The famous French Poet, Lamartine visited the house of the Gordon’s
at the time, in whose garden the row of poplar trees were later cut
and sold for firewood.
Historical note: Lamartine, Alphonse
de, (1790-1869) was a French poet and statesman and the author of books
including a 7 volume 1854 published treatise ‘Histoire de la Turquie’.
This was based on his travels across the country in the 1830s, giving
us a likely decade when he also visited Boudjah, and therefore a rough
date for when the Gordon family were already settled.
Opposite their own house until 1922 was the Manoli
hotel and night club. Manoli was at the same time the name of the
Greek proprietor. The name of his wife was Marianthe and with its piano
and dance was the popular venue of the English coming from Izmir and
elsewhere. The translation from Greek of the famous drinking song is:
A pistol shot was heard in Manoli’s tavern, what’s this noise Manoli,
In 1922 the grandmother of Rose-Marie,
Malvine Roboli (French with a maiden name of Dracopoli of Italian /
Greek islands extraction) allowed the refuge of 100 frightened Greeks
in her small house.
Behind their house was the garden of a mansion with large cedar trees
(now both not present). She remembers the prince and princess Borghesse
(Italian) wandering together in this garden.
There are very few graves present in the nearby courtyard of the Latin
Catholic (D.O.M.) church and the majority of the Buca Catholics were
buried in Kemer (Kançeşme). The authorities ban burials
in this and the nearby Protestant and Jewish cemeteries prior to 1948.
A 5 years period for the transfer of graves is allocated but most remain
and with the exception of the Jewish cemetery are later destroyed. The
transfer of tombs and remains takes place to the general Christian cemetery
of Karabaglar. Here the rigid Protestant and Catholic divisions are
not applied and the cemetery is still in use.
The ‘American Farm’ outside Buca is still run by Walter Mullen and sons.
Through the will the Forbes house
was transferred to Albert
Whittall who lived there for a while with his wife Agnes (nee Keyser).
Note: Later I find that Agnes
was a former love of King Edward the VIIth, and was the aunt of Lulu
Keyser, the lifelong companion of the Forbes, thus accounting for this
inheritance. The ‘Whittall’ family tree (page 48) records that Albert
Whittall (1879-1957) married Agnes in 1904, and between them had 3 children.
The Aliberti house was built by Maurice Aliberti around 1947. He had
his own tobacco firm as a hobby would make wine and passed away in 1986.
The widowed wife still lives in Izmir and the present renters of the
house are the American doctor John Fowler and family.
The house known as the Wilkinson house across the Alsancak train station
and still standing (now the railway museum) was a guest house operated
by the British Miss Perkins between 1930-45 and attended services at
the nearby church.
Note: From a separate source (the son of the purchaser),
the elderly Miss Perkins sells the building to a Turk in 1953 and leaves
interview date 2001