Levantine Heritage
The story of a community
Recollections
Home | History of the community | Active Topics | Visiting the heritage | Registers | Economic analysis | Database | Newspaper archives | Links | Books | Levantine achievements
 
 
The Contributors
Rose Marie Caporal | Alessandro Pannuti | Ft Joe Buttigieg | Mary Lemma | Antoine ‘Toto’ Karakulak | Willie Buttigieg | Erika Lochner Hess | Maria Innes Filipuci | Catherine Filipuci | Harry Charnaud | Alfred A. Simes | Padre Stefano Negro | Giuseppe Herve Arcas | Filipu Faruggia | Mete Göktuğ | Graham Lee | Valerie Neild | Yolande Whittall | Robert Wilson | Osman Streater | Edward de Jongh | Daphne Manussis | Cynthia Hill | Chris Seaton | Andrew Mango | Robert C. Baker | Duncan Wallace QC | Dr Redvers ‘Red’ Cecil Warren | Nikolaos Karavias | Marianne Barker | Ümit Eser | Helen Lawrence | Alison Tubini Miner | Katherine Creon | Giovanni Scognamillo | Hakkı Sabancalı | Joyce Cully | Jeffrey Tucker | Yusuf Osman | Willem Daniels | Wendy Hilda James | Charles Blyth Holton | Andrew Malleson | Alex Baltazzi | Lorin Washburn | Tom Rees | Charlie Sarell | Müsemma Sabancıoğlu | Marie Anne Marandet | Hümeyra Birol Akkurt | Alain Giraud | Rev. Francis ‘Patrick’ Ashe | Fabio Tito | Pelin Böke | Antonio Cambi | Enrico Giustiniani | Chas Hill | Arthur ‘Mike’ Waring Roberts III | Angela Fry | Nadia Giraud | Roland Richichi | Joseph Murat | George Poulimenos | Bayne MacDougall | Mercia Mason-Fudim née Arcas | Eda Kaçar Özmutaf | Quentin Compton-Bishop | Liz Knight-Gök | Charles F. Wilkinson | Antony Wynn | Anna Laysa Di Lernia | Pierino & Iolanda Braggiotti | Philip Mansel | Bernard d’Andria | Achilleas Chatziconstantinou | Enrichetta Micaleff | Enrico Aliotti Snr. | Patrick Grigsby | Anna Maria and Rinaldo Russo | Mehmet Yüce | Wallis Kidd | Jean-Pierre Giraud | Osman Öndeş | Jean François d’Andria | Betty McKernan | Frederick de Cramer | Emilio Levante | Jeanne Glennon LeComte | Jane Spooner | Richard Seivers | Frances Clegg
A lady from a family with deep roots in Buca.

Her grandfather Adolphe 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. Queen 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 speak English.

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, bang, bang!

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 for England.



to top of page interview date 2001