French-language memoirs of Rafael Chikurel, a Sephardic Jew from Izmir, who served in the Ottoman administration.
6 x 9
Mis Memorias, the memoirs of Rafael Chikurel, takes the reader back to the city of Izmir when perhaps a fifth of the city’s population was Jewish. Chikurel, himself a Sephardic Jew from Izmir, recounts his experiences there in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Chikurel’s memoirs originally appeared in 1911 in the Judeo-Spanish language (Ladino). The period covered in the work covers the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II and then the Young Turk revolution and the restoration of constitutional rule in the Ottoman Empire under the Committee of Union and Progress. Chikurel himself served in Izmir in the police force, rising in the ranks and eventually being transfered to Istanbul where he became a high-ranking official. After the fall of Abdülhamid, Chikurel was arrested and accused of being an agent of the old regime. Mis Memorias is a unique look at late-Ottoman society and how the end of Empire was experienced by its subjects.