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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 | Elizabeth Knight | 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
Capucin monk who was the resident priest at St. Antoine in Bayraklı until 2002.

Following his period of ministering in the house of Mary at Ephesus (Selçuk), has been responsible for this church - St. Anthony of Padua. Together with the 2-3 other Capuchin order monks now remaining in Izmir, helps organise as a visiting priest the services at the Catholic church on street number 81 in Buca. The ‘St. John the Baptist’ church no longer has a resident priest. With the benefit of being Maltese background, can speak many languages (Maltase, Arabic, Italian, French, German, English) and pays importance to historical heritage. The St. Anthony church is 99 years old (in 2001), the only church in Bayraklı, [archive views] but the history of the Capuchins in Izmir goes back further.

From the archives now kept in a cupboard in this church, the Capuchin seminary (monk school) in Boudjah that neighboured the British church, kept detailed records that include a group photograph included 58 persons together with a colour postcard that showed the state of the building at the time. Documents show the construction started in 1881, established in 1883 and maintained its activities at least until 1910. The postcard shows that the building did not change shape; however the plot that is now a car park supported large cypress trees, between which monks are seen gingerly tending the garden. Father Joe does not know when and under what circumstances this building was lost to the community, however they still own the St. Etienne seminary at Yeşilköy, Istanbul. In the early years of the republic, following Ataturk’s instruction, 15 days were provided for all to convert the Ottoman title deeds, but following the recommendation of France most Catholics including churches ignored the demand. There was a perception amongst some western powers that the republic would be short lived and the returning Sultan would not recognise the new deeds. Unlike the Anglicans and many other Christian sects, the Catholics were never recognised as a ‘nation’ (millet) by the Ottoman government and even today are merely tolerated. The combination of these two factors resulted in the Capuchins losing much real estate in many neighbourhoods of Izmir, and Ft. Joe mentioned some examples.

 Historical note: Following pressure exerted on the court by Britain, in 1850 the Protestant community was accepted as a ‘nation’ [millet] and announced through the firman of Sultan Abdulmecit (1g-p.23).

The property of the St. Antoine church belongs entirely to themselves. The detailed archives also highlight the local Catholics according to their nationality, with changes in relative proportions with time (the English are included as a minority). In a later visit I partially listed the books formerly belonging to the ‘Orient’ seminary. No doubt the majority of the students were non-local and the school was multinational. However this community too were a part of the continuous political rivalry of European nations and with examples Ft.Joe explained how some head priests were removed from office due to their ethnicity.

In the St. Antoine church hang two large oil paintings, dated 1884 but unsigned and since older than the church, Ft. Joe believes they might have been brought from the Boudjah monastery. Even though these are not masterpieces and include technical mistakes, following the fashion of the time, the face visible in the background is probably a self-rendition of the local possibly a monk artist.

Through the efforts of a student priest, an Internet site has been created (now offline) and with this it is possible to examine the history of this church (founded 1902), Boudjah ‘Institute of the Orient’ (founded 1883, closed ~1920) and the other Capuchin churches. Furthermore this site shows the distribution of the Bayrakli Catholic community according to nationality and between 1902-1982, according to year. In the 1930s after the Turks and Italians was also an English community, with 31 persons in 1930 making this locality a mini Buca. However it should be born in mind that this ‘English’ group may not all be Catholic nor have British origin.

 Note: 1- As part of the centenary of the establishment of the Bayraklı church, Ft Joe is currently researching in Italy the life of the monk who founded the church, Ft Grambattista da san Lorenza, and an article will result.
2- Examining the seriously yellowing documents, with a helper, of the Boudjah monastery, kept by the Venturini friars in Rome, Ft Buttigieg was surprised to discover that there was no reference to the Anglican Church just next door, showing how the Protestant and Catholic clergy lived in their own ‘universes’. He was depressed to discover that the closing of the monastery was linked to ‘stinked of’ the politics of the time. Among the more important discoveries is a 10 page report on the fire of Izmir of 1922 and photo albums of the friars and important sites such as the martyr St Polycarp’s tomb on Mt Pagus.
3- A 2 book series published by a Bayrakli resident and fan (Bir zamanlar Bayraklı [Once upon a time in Bayraklı] 1997 & Uygarlığın anıtı Bayraklı [Monument to civilisation] 2000 – Adil Akçamlı), provide nostalgic 20th century pictorial reading. Book 2 page 251 incidentally informs us of the location of the old Catholic cemetery (across the archaeological site Tepekule, next to the Talat Paşa primary school. It existed for certainty in 1906 and I estimate it was destroyed in the 1930s.

to top of page interview date 2001