Auction 86 - Part I - Rare & Important Items

El Tiempo, One of the Most Important Ladino Newspapers – Bound Volume of Issues – Istanbul, 1925-1926 – All the Issues of Year 54

Opening: $5,000
Estimate: $7,000 - $10,000
95 issues of the newspaper El Tiempo edited by David Fresco, bound together. 54th year of publication, Istanbul (Constantinople), September 1925 – September 1926 (Tishrei-Elul 5686). Ladino.
All 95 issues of the 54th year of publication of El Tiempo – the first Ladino newspaper in Istanbul, and one of the most influential Ladino newspapers in the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey. The title of the newspaper is printed on the front page in Arabic and Hebrew characters; the articles are in Hebrew characters, in Rashi script.
El Tiempo was founded in 1872 and appeared until 1930. Its founder and first editor was Chaim Carmona, member of a wealthy Jewish-Ottoman family. After his passing, he was succeeded by his son Isaac. The newspaper was later edited by Mercado Fresco and Sami Alkabez, and finally by David Fresco, prominent Ladino journalist, who served as the paper's editor for decades and was identified with it (Gaon, p. 55, see below).
El Tiempo held an important position in the Ladino speaking society, and had a great influence on Ottoman Jewry. Its issues serve as an important and rare source of information on a cultural sphere that has since vanished.
The newspaper included items on economy and politics, with an accent on news items relating to Jews in the empire and worldwide, various magazine articles, literature, poetry and more. It stood out for its meticulous style and high journalistic standard, generally abstaining from sensations and using only sources which were considered reliable – both for items quoted from other papers, and for articles written by its own journalists. In the early 20th century (including in the present issues), it began printing ads, as well as advertisements disguised as news items. News items appearing in El Tiempo were printed in many Ladino papers in Salonika, Izmir, Jerusalem and Cairo, and these even polemicized with El Tiempo on various topics.
The target audience of the newspaper was the Ladino speaking middle class. While Fresco, who was associated with the Alliance Israelite Universelle, served as its editor, El Tiempo vigorously supported the integration of Ottoman Jews into Turkish society; promoting the use of the Turkish language, instead of Ladino, by the local Jews; and encouraging Westernization. The newspaper was criticized for its excessive use of French expressions, and even more so for its attitude to Zionism – the stance set by Fresco in the newspaper was not Zionist, and at times was even antagonistic to the Zionist movement and its institutions. Nevertheless, throughout the years, the newspaper firmly defended the rights of the Jews, and dealt with attacks against them in Turkish newspapers, while at the same time displaying absolute loyalty to the Ottoman Empire, and after 1923, to the Republic of Turkey. Over the years, the circulation of the newspaper declined. In 1930, David Fresco's strength waned, and he resigned from the editorship of the newspaper, which then ceased its publication.
Issues no. 1-95, bound together. 4-6 leaves per issue (successive paginations, with minor errors – 966 pages). 37.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Damp damage to lower part of all leaves (with some mold). Minor tears to some leaves (open tear to one leaf – pp. 177-178, slightly affecting text). Printing defects to some leaves. Binding worn and loose, with abrasions and tears.
• Moshe David Gaon, A Bibliography of the Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) Press. Ben Zvi institute and JNUL, Jerusalem, 1965. Pp. 55-56, listing 110.
• Dov HaKohen, Thesaurus of the Ladino Book, Ben Zvi institute, Jerusalem, 2021. P. 621, listing 3569.
• Avner Levy, The El Tiempo Ladino Newspaper from Istanbul, 1882-1883. Kesher, no. 13, edited by Mordechai Naor, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 1993. Pp. 30-40.
• Sarah Abrevya Stein, The Preamble Boundaries of Ottoman Jewry. In: Boundaries and Belonging: State and Societies in the Struggle to Shape Identities and Local Practices, edited by Joel S. Migdal. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006. Pp. 49-70.