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Content and Format Update 5760 [Oct 1999ce].

Special Feature: The Mitranis of Italy and Turkey

In 1999, I received interesting information about the Mitrani families still living in Turkey. Except for minor editorial corrections, the following is direct from my source.
Mitrani: comes from the word Trani--which is a small town near Bari in Italy.

The prefix "mi" is in Hebrew meaning "from."

All the Mitrani's come from Italy to my knowledge.

They first went to Yugoslavia--to Sarajevo--then passed to Saloniki in Greece, then to Edirne in Turkey .

Of course, this might have happened in a period of three to four hundred years. They were expelled by a pope from Italy and wandered through Ottoman lands to find a peaceful life and freedom of religion and trade.

What is very ironic-- they were accepted as "Turks" in Italy when they returned as merchants to Venice, Genoa and Pisa and the Italians were afraid to touch the subjects of the great Turk. So they easily could stay wherever they would like and travel without any limit under the [protection] of the Doge of Venice.

Still my family has its Italian passport and nationality, as well as all my ancestors.
Contributed by Hanri Mitrani of Istanbul

Mr Mitrani also provided some information regarding the historical and present situations in the city of Edirne, and the town of Krklareli--two areas in which the Mitranis were concentrated in earlier times.

Edirne or Andrinople, was the city of Hadrian the Roman emperor. Thus the name "city of Hadrian" -- Hadrianopolis in Greek and ancient Roman, Edirne in Turkish.

Kirklareli is very near Edirne--is and always was smaller in comparison.

Today there is absolutely nothing to see in Kirklareli, also in Edirne.

There was a great synagogue which we went to visit with a large Jewish club.

We found a wreckage, and the remains of the biggest synagogue of Thrace in very bad shape.

There were only some old [residents] who remembered that once this site was a crowded Jewish residential [area]. Some of them came to thank us for the good they have had from our forefathers.

I don't know what the situation is at Kirklareli but should be the same.

Only one family or maybe two is residing in Kirklareli right now. I shall ask my friend Nisso Halliyo about Kirklareli. He is from there and still has contacts.

Mr Mitrani also provided details of his family history.

My grandfather, Yuda Mitrani, was born in 1881 in Edirne.

My grandmother Rachel also a Mitrani was his cousin born in 1885. She was from Kirklareli. That is from the Kirklareli Mitranis. They had:

  • Marco Mitrani 1906 (went to France).
  • Shapat Mitrani 1908.
  • Rica Mitrani 1910. (Who married to "de Toledo." They died in the Auschwitz concentration camp).
  • Albert Mitrani 1912.
  • My father Hayyim Mitrani, was the youngest. Born 1914.

    I am a Chemical Engineer, 53, with 2 children. My wife Lida Louisa Venturero is related to Bursa Jewish families and I am related to Edirne Jewish families. My daughter Jessica, 25, is an economist, and my son Jacky, 22, a student of mechanical engineering.

After the Balkan Wars they all went to Istanbul the capital.

Contributed by Hanri Mitrani of Istanbul

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