The Judeo-Spanish (Ladino-Press) [with translations]
"Our Fathers' Newspapers"
by RIFAT Birmizrahi
The Turkish Jewish Press
The first printing press in the Ottoman Empire was operated by Jews in 1493, only a year after their expulsion from Spain.
The first Jewish newspaper "La Buena Esperansa" (Good Expectations) was published in Izmir, by Rafael Uziel 9 years after Takvim-i Vekayi (1831), the first Turkish newspaper. "Or Israel" (Light of Israel) printed in Rashi characters (similar to the Hebrew alphabet) and Judeo - Spanish was published by Leon de Hayim Kastro in Istanbul (1853). "El Manadero" by Mose Pesah (1855 1858) was also a well known paper.
Until the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the majority of the newspapers were printed with Rashi letters in Judeo Spanish for a short period. The known exceptions are El Tyempo ande El Telegraph. The weekly "El Tyempo" (Time) was published by Isak Karmona from 1871 until 1930. Its last owner David Fresko published El Tyempo three times a week during long years. "El Telegraph" (The Telegraph) which was the continuation of "El Nasyonal" (Nationhood) appeared in 1871 by Marko Mayorkas and continued up to 1930. David Fresko was the editor in chief in the beginning, then came Mois Dal Mediko and Isak Gabay.
The main newspapers and magazines published before The Turkish Republic (during the Ottoman Empire) that we know of are:
- Journal Israelit (Jewish Newspaper) published by Yehezkel Gabay, 1860
- Coha i Cohayko (Coha is the name given to Nasreddin Hodja by Jews), 1860
- El Luzero (Lantern) published by Mois Eli (1867)
- Ceride - i Lisan, printed in Hebrew characters in Turkish and Judeo - Spanish by Abraham Leon (1899). The Turkish part which was printed in Hebrew letters was edited by Ibrahim Nom (Avram Naum). The purpose of the newspaper was to spread the Turkish language among the Jews living in Istanbul.
- La Patria (Country), published by Viktor Levi and David Elnekave, 1908 - 1909
- La Boz (The Voice), published by Viktor Levi, 1908 - 1910
- El Çuflete (Whistle), 1909
- El Burlon (Mocker), 1909