Havra Street

Konak / İzmir

Havra Street

Havra (small synagogue) Street lies at the heart of Juderia(1) district of Izmir.

Even though the Jewish presence in Izmir is documented present before the common era, their population was limited to a few hundred people until the 16th century. After the migration of the Sepheradi Jews from Iberian Peninsula, between 1492 - 1497 the Jewish community grow to be a significant fraction of the city. Following this migration Jewish communities from western Anatolia slowly settled in Izmir. In subsequent years, Sepheradis, and Jewish migrants from Selanik, Istanbul, Ankara, Balkans and an important group of Jewish migrants from Portugal (Converso) had constituted the Jewish community. Since 19th century wealthy Jews from Italy that originated from Portugal (Frankos Jews) and underprivileged Jews from eastern Europe especially from Russia (Ashkenazi Jews) have started settling in Izmir. As a part of their tradition and Jewish principals they settled almost exclusively to Juderia district around Havra street. The Synagogues that given the street its name have stood here quietly for centuries, behind their walls and within their peaceful small yards.

In the later 19th century, Havra street was known as a prominent raki production centre and also was a home to a significant number of taverns. According to Trade Registry Guide published in 1888, The Street hosted a Turkish bath, A Greek Pharmacy and wine houses that are owned by Greeks and Jews. Havra Street's name was changed to Turkish Bazaar Street in early years of republic, but this name wasn't adopted and old continued to be used. In 1948, the state of Israel has established and many Jews from Izmir have migrated.

There is a long standing tradition: Kemeralti craftsmen and patrons would regularly visit this street to buy fruits, vegetables, fish, cheese, and pickles. Whether you enter the street from Ikicesmelik, or from the other end at Anafartalar Street will welcome you with a decent crowd and colorful decorations even though it may be far from its prime.

1 Describes the entirety of Jewish neighbourhoods on both sides of Ikicesmelik Street.


No comment left, would you like to comment?

Click to comment ...