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 About Us
Tire, which is believed to have a history of at least five thousand years, with its hospitable geographical position, exclusive micro-climate, rich subterranean water sources and vigorous rivers, fertile plain that can yield up to three harvests a year, has been a host to many a civilization throughout time.

It is not precisely certain when the Jews first settled in Tire. According to Avram Galante, part of the Jews that were exiled during the period of Alexander the Great, settled in Izmir and in Tire. Furthermore, he points out that inscriptions from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries mention Jews living in Tire. Most of the Jews that are subject to our research, however, are of the Sephardic Jews who were exiled from Spain under effect of the Alhambra Decree, signed by Queen Isabella the First of Castile and King Ferdinand the Second of Aragon. In the following periods, even though, at times, their numbers swelled and at others, they declined, the Jews in Tire never lost their status as an important community. With the founding of the state of Israel, in 1948, in the first three years as many as 35.000 Jews migrated out of Turkey and back into their ancestral homeland. Tire lost a large number of its Jewish community to the great migration. By the 1960s, the Jews had all but left Tire completely, and the last Jew in Tire, Sami Beja (Günel) -(aka “Sami the Pharmacist”)- has passed away in the year 2009.

We started this project to pay our debt of gratitude to this community which has undeniably enriched our city culture, to tell about their ancestors and to supply the family trees  to the descendants. We have built this database at 3 years, after studying more than 150.000 documents from various sources. You can find the informations of nearly 7.500 Jews born from the early 1800’s. Our document and picture archives are growing day by day thanks to the contributions.

Besides this database, we have published a book named “The Jews of Tire – Official Marital Records, Records of Religious Marriages, Funeral Records, School Records” at 2015.

We aim to shoot a documentary film about our community. Its projections are completed and the teaser is filmed. You can watch it in our “multimedia” section.

Our other short term project is to open a Museum of the Jews of Tire. The mansion which is used by Bechor Moshe Kalomiti and his family for a long time is purchased by the Municipality of Tire and will be restored to be the museum.

If your family was from Tire, you can contact us to obtain further information for free or you can arrange a visit to Tire and discover your roots with our guidance. Please note that this is a nonprofit project and you will never be charged for any service that you get from us.

We did not use the personal information of the people that are born after 1950. Nonetheless, if you see your name in our database and if you are not happy with this, kindly inform us and we will immediately hide your information in our database.

We always need your assistance and contributions for the documents, pictures and written/oral stories that will form the base of our muesum. Please contact us for any help that you can supply for our cause.

We would like to thank to everyone who has contributed to this project. Also, our special thanks and blessings to:

- Dr. Dov Cohen, who has transcripted all the Jewish tombstones at the new cemetery.

- Prof. Minna Rozen, who has visited Tire at 1987, catalogued the tombstones she has found and shared the list with us.

- Mr. Sami Azar, the President of Izmir Jewish Community who always supported us and let us study the religious marriage records and Mr. Ezel Roditi who has helped us about this study.

- Mr. Metin Delevi, who always encouraged us about our cause.

- Genealogist Mrs. Laurence Abensur-Hazan, who made our project widely known with her articles published at various magazines.

- Oded Mann, Alex Mumblat, Esther Aviv, Mili Alon and Michael Waas who were by my side for years and contributed to this cause with their ideas, pictures and documents.

- Nihat Çancoğlu and Anıl Ertan, who created this wonderful database structure and internet site.
coding & design Nihat Can