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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
nee Prosen, resident in Alsancak

There are 3 families in Izmir with the surname Filipuci and according to some members, are unrelated. Since its origins are ancient, the root of the family is not certain, but is probably Italian with a possible minor Greek blood input.

 Note: According to the book ‘Les Anciennes Familles Italiennes de Turquie – Willy Sperco’, the Filipuci family are from Genoa and having lived for a while amongst the Latin colony on the Greek island of Chios, came to Izmir p.50. The island of Tinos was also a stepping stone for this family p.57.

The great-grand-father of Maria was born in Vienna and was the captain of a smallish boat. As a buyer he would trade in grapes and figs with the British Levantines Paterson and Whittalls. Later with a developing friendship, the wife of Paterson invites him for dinner. On the dinner table seeing an attractive dark haired Catholic seamstress, the wife of Paterson convinces him to stay for a while and later they get married. This event happens approximately 200 years ago, (I would place it more mid 19th century). They live in Bornova for a few generations and in 1912 when the mother of Maria gets married they move to Bayraklı [archive views]. Born 1914, Maria’s grand-father was a furniture maker and father was a guitar teacher. She gave piano lessons for 40 years. An Italian music professor named Rozatti was going to send Maria to the same conservatory in Naples from which he had graduated but the war breaking out in 1940 made it impossible.

Maria’s husband worked as the chief accountant at the now non-existent Izmir Yün Mensucat owned by the Giraud family. Like some of the other old Levantine families (Rees, Clarke etc.), the Giraud family were highly involved in horse racing, winning many races and even today in honour of the late William Giraud, a cup race in his name is organised in Buca.

The first name of the St. Antoine church in Bayraklı was St. Espedi (until 1922?), and it was much smaller than today (chapel). Despite the fact that the great 1922 Izmir fire did not affect these parts, the local Catholics took refuge in here out of fear. From time to time Maria used to play the piano during church services. The house in Bayraklı built on the land purchased in 1912, burnt down in 1952, through flames escaping from the oven. Her beloved piano was also lost in the fire. Rebuilding of the house was financed by the company (Izmir Yün Mensucat) he worked for, which later deducted it from his wages. The failing health of the husband of Maria forces them to move to Alsancak in 1986, and the house is sold to a German. On the same road as the house which is close to the church, are 4 former Armenian houses. The later owner despite knocking one of these down could not rebuild as the deeds still show the former Armenian names.

Before the great fire there were approximately 90 Greek families in Bayrakli and their church was where the mosque currently stands. Following the exchange of population exchange of 1926, a single Greek remains, the pig farmer Dimitri who emigrated to Rhodes in 1955-60. With this exchange, for those who could show title deeds, efforts were made to provide equivalent property in their new country.

The Catholic population of Bayrakli was more numerous and all were involved in commerce and would go to Izmir for work. The clean air and sea attracted the better off and travel was by train or boat. In that period there was no bus and the sea was further inland. Being mostly of Italian background the Bayrakli Catholic names she can remember are Galici, Prelorenzo, Rivens (English), Fabiano, Tius, Mellini, Bertucci, Derviche (Belgian), Kokilya, Martini, De Filipi, Apaque. The Rivens family living across their house had to emigrate to England before 1940 following the enactment of the law preventing foreign small traders from operating. Today all that remains are the Papi (Maltese) and the later arrival Greek Catholic Fotini and Piro families.

Turan, situated half a km. away from Bayrakli towards Karsiyaka was also a neighbourhood where Levantines lived by the sea. Later dirty industry, such as British Petroleum establish works here and the area degrades in quality. The names of the Catholic families Maria can remember are Stano and Kaleya (part English).

Maria goes to school in Bayrakli until grade 3. This is the now ruined building behind the church. The school closes down towards 1930 and was named ‘Scuola d’Ivrea Italiana’. The teachers were all nuns whose names were Sister Magdalena, Sister Rosina and the director Sister Rinaldo. She continues her education at the old Italian school (Scuola Centrale Italiana) in Alsancak. The school had a chapel within and the names of the nun teachers were Sister Natalia, Sister Pia, Sister Andreina and the director Sister Assuntina. This building was where the 9th of September university rectorship is presently situated on the 2nd Cordon.

The large but ruined mansion near the Bayrakli train station belonged to an influential pasha (general) during the Ottoman period, Yahya Pasa. The presently building covered hillside above Bayrakli also belonged to him and using his power and authority was able to collect the money from all who had built on his land, adding wealth to his fortune. A restoration project on this building that was supposed to happen recently fell through due to the non-agreement of the Karsiyaka council and the Heritage foundation. Again on the same row existed a large gardened mansion was pulled down by Eczacıbaşı holding and the presently seen long apartment blocks were erected. On the same row but towards Alsancak was a small winery active in 1920-30s. In the same area the German Schlosser family lived and raised flowers in their garden. Maria’s father also raised flowers and would specially bring the seeds from Italy. The Schlosser family would buy the seeds from him and when he died in 1952, they became the sole cultivators. The children who are still around operated a florist in Alsancak for many years.

 Note: The book, Punta’dan Alsancak’a (Alsancak Tarihine kısa bir bakış) [A brief look at the history of Alsancak] – Bülent Moralı – 2000(?), on page 26, specifies the location of this florist as on the Kıbrıs Şehitleri Caddesi, a little further than the present ‘Alican’ restaurant.

Unfortunately Mrs Filipuci died in 2007 and is buried in Paşaköprü cemetery. May she rest in peace.

to top of page interview date 2001