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Ülkümen, Selahattin

(285 words)

Author(s): Aksel Vansten
Selahattin Ülkümen(1914–2003) was born in the city of İskenderun (Alexandretta) in 1914. During World War II, while serving as Turkey’s consul-general on the Greek island of Rhodes, he saved many members of the island’s Jewish community after the Germans took over the occupation from the Italians. On  July 19, 1944, the German commanding officer, General Ulrich Kleemann, ordered the Jewish population of the island rounded up, to be shipped to extermination camps. Ülkümen, at great personal risk, intervened on behalf of the Jews, demanding the immediate release of those who were Turkis…

Quincentennial Foundation, The (Istanbul)

(231 words)

Author(s): Aksel Vansten
The Quincentennial Foundation was established in 1989 by a group of 113 leading Turkish citizens, Jewish and Muslim alike, to commemorate the five-hundredth anniversary of the Sephardim in Turkish lands. Over the next three years the foundation organized a variety of cultural events leading up to the actual anniversary in 1992. In addition to its cultural activities, the foundation lobbied the United States and the European Union in favor of Turkey. It also facilitated a decision by the Yad Vashem Museum in Israel to give “righteous among the nations” status to Selahattin Ülkümen, a T…

Deleon, Jak

(201 words)

Author(s): Aksel Vansten
Jak Deleon was born in Istanbul in 1951. He studied English literature at Bosporus University and completed his Ph.D. at Istanbul University in 1979. Deleon became a professor in 1997. He taught a wide array of subjects, including advanced English, ballet history, and “Visual Istanbul Studies” at Bosporus University as well as at Istanbul Bilgi University. A crucial determinant of Deleon’s work and personality was his endless enthusiasm for the city of Istanbul, its history and its culture. Deleon authored more than thirty books, the majority of them on Istanbul, concentr…

Barouh, N. Izidor

(326 words)

Author(s): Aksel Vansten
N. İzidor Barouhwas born in Istanbul in 1915. In 1932, at the age of seventeen, he joined Turkey’s first advertising agency, İlancılıkLtd., as a customer representative. He rose quickly up the ranks and within a year ended up owning the majority of the company’s shares. Although the business depended solely on newspaper ads at the beginning, Barouh brought limitless dynamism to the Turkish advertising sector, adapting competitively and amenably to new market conditions, such as the use of radio and later television. His clients include such giants as the C…

Denet Kashrut Supervision and Kosher Food Distribution

(150 words)

Author(s): Aksel Vansten
Denet Gıda Pazarlama Üretim ve Denetim A.Ş. (Denet Kashrut Supervision & Kosher Food Distribution) is the only kosher certificate supervision firm in Turkey approved by the chief rabbinate. Founded in January 2004, the company chiefly supervises institutions that apply to obtain international kosher certification. Jewish institutions such as hospitals and retirement homes as well as kosher restaurants, butcher shops, and food import/export companies are among Denet’s primary customer base.  In addition to its supervisory mission, Denet supplies most of the kosher…

Behmoaras, Lizi

(197 words)

Author(s): Aksel Vansten
Liz Behmoaras is a Jewish author, translator, journalist, and columnist in Turkey. She was born in Istanbul in 1950. After graduating from the Lycée Notre Dame de Sion, she began translating books from French to Turkish. Among the famous authors whose works she translated were Simone de Beauvoir, Marie Cardinal, and Paul Valéry. Behmoaras edited the culture page of the Turkish Jewish newspaper Şalom (Shalom) from 1986 to 1996. She has written columns for the Turkish newspapers Yeni Yüzyıl and Cumhuriyet, as well as the French newspapers Liberation, L’Arche, and Le Tribune Juive, and ha…