TURKEY

A Joyous Celebration for Salom’s 70th Anniversary

A Joyous Celebration for Salom’s 70th Anniversary
Şalom weekly in 1960´s

70th anniversary of SALOM newspaper was celebrated on December 14th, at Fulya Art Center together with a large group of guests.

The guests attending the event were greeted by a special art exhibition named “70 Artworks for 70 Years”, at the foyer. The displayed artwork included photos by prominent photographers as well as paintings by prominent artists done on special canvases where the background consists of the old and the new pages of SALOM. At the foyer, the guests also had the chance to chat during the cocktail catered by La Casa Catering. 

The presenter of the event that kicked off with a warm welcome, sincere hospitality and amity was author and journalist Bahar Feyzan who writes regular columns for SALOM Newspaper. SALOM’s Chief Editor, Ivo Molinas gave the opening speech. He started his speech mentioning the history of Salom Newspaper: “On October 29th, 1947, a Don Quixote emerged in Istanbul and made his dream of a lifetime come true. SALOM, that was founded 70 years ago by the late journalist Avram Leyon with his limited financial resources, is today I presume is the second oldest newspaper in Turkey that’s being published incessantly even though it is a weekly publication.  In its first years, SALOM was being published in Ladino- Judeo Espanyol language, which was a language used by the majority of Turkish Jews, at the time. Because of the notorious state-oppressed movement “Speak Turkish, Citizen”, in time Turkish Jews’ major spoken language became Turkish and so did SALOM’s. Today, 20-page SALOM is being published in Turkish except for one page and has reached to the same level as other national newspapers.  In 1984, having drained all his financial sources, Avram Leyon handed his newspaper over to the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey. For all his hard work, Leyon’s name must be printed in gold letters in the history of Turkish journalism.” 

Following Molinas’ speech, the Mayor of Besiktas, Murat Hazinedar gave a speech. Hazinedar who is known to have hosted the first public Hanukkah Lighting Ceremony at Ortakoy Square in 2015 as Besiktas Municipality, noted how beautiful it is to celebrate meaningful occasions together. He congratulated SALOM Newspaper for its 70th anniversary. 

The short film screened after the two speeches, gave brief information about SALOM’s history, founder, contributors and content. The film also included short interviews with SALOM readers and writers. The short film was both informative and entertaining for the audience. 

Following the short film, Hurriyet Daily Newspaper writer and journalist Ertugrul Ozkok took the stage as a guest speaker. Noting that he is one year younger than SALOM, Ozkok explained using humor, how in time his negative opinions about Jews which was developed due to his ‘defeat to a Jewish boy at a wrestling game’ when he was a child living in Izmir evolved into very positive opinions. He said, “Having run Hurriyet as the former Chief Editor for 20 years, I can say that if you cannot ingratiate either sides, this means you are doing objective journalism.” Ozkok also congratulated Ivo Molinas for managing 120 volunteer writers at SALOM, noting he was barely managing 25 writers at Hurriyet while he was Chief Editor.

After the cocktail prolonge break, in the second half of the event, Leader of Turkish Jewish Community Ishak Ibrahimzadeh gave a speech in which he mentioned the importance of SALOM newspaper and its place in the community. Ibrahimzadeh asked all SALOM writers, illustrators and employees of SALOM in the auditorium to stand up and he applauded and thanked them all for their hard work. 

Following Ibrahimzadeh’s speech, the third candle of Hanukkiah was lit by Chief Rabbi Isak Haleva, Leader of Turkish Jewish Community Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, SALOM’s Chief Editor Ivo Molinas, SALOM’s editorial coordinator Virna Gumusgerdan, SALOM’s former Chief Editors and several SALOM writers. 

The event ended with French singer Dany Brillant’s concert. The audience enjoyed Brillant’s music performance, where he sang songs in French and Italian. During his performance, Brillant invited the audience and Salom writers on stage to dance and ended the event with memorable moments.

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