For many years I have been searching for the French run orphanage in Pera, Istanbul, which raised my great grandmother and her 2 sisters in the 1860s. On a recent visit to Istanbul, the priest at SS Peter and Paul RC church suggested a building near the Italian Embassy and School off TomTom Kaptan. I wandered down there, turned right onto Bogazkesen Cd. and found a dilapidated building with a flagpole and small plaque above it which said St Joseph's Orphelinat (quite faint). The gates were open so we went in and tried to talk to man running an architectural salvage type business in the back but he spoke no english so could not help.
If there are any Istanbulites reading this who live locally I would be really grateful for your help in answering a few questions. Was the red building on the corner of the street by TomTom and Bogazkesen originally part of the same orphanage (similar style architecture)? Is it possible to find out when it was founded and when it closed? Did it have both girls and boys? Is it possible to find out which religious order ran it? I think I found somewhere that it was French-run and may have been operating as early as 1858 but cannot be sure. Is it possible to find anyone who might know more about the building?
Any help with this very gratefully received. I am hopeful that this is a good candidate for my great Grandmother's home.