Komi Kebir and its legends by Ismail Veli

Komi Kebir and its legends


By Ismail Veli……

The village of Büyükkonuk/Komi Kebir in North Cyprus lies about 4-5 miles north-east of Boğaz in the lowland foothills of the Beşparmak Kyrenia mountain range, which is the start of the Karpaz peninsula.

Its outstanding natural beauty and location has prompted the government to declare this an area for eco-tourism. This has prompted film crews (including foreign) Komi Kebir (30)to film this area for cultural programmes. Though steeped in history and attracting a fair number of tourists, Komi Kebir is predominantly an agricultural village and the residents work mainly on the land. Crops such as wheat, barley, olives, carobs, vegetables plus livestock provides the village with much of its local needs. With assistance from the Economic Development and Growth for Enterprises (EDGE) under the Cyprus Partnership for Economic Growth project which is funded by the US Agency for international Development and the Turkish Embassy, much restoration has taken place. Continue reading

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My Cyprus childhood with my father D/Sgt. 1862. Samuel Middler

My Cyprus Childhood and my father

D/Sgt. 1862. Samuel Middler 1956 to 1957

By Patti Foch-Gattrell…….

When I came to Cyprus with my mother and sister Shirley in 1956 I can remember how excited we were. I was seven and Shirley was nine and this was going to be our first flight, all our friends were very jealous. We stayed in the Harbour hotel in Famagusta; I haven’t been able to find it since so perhaps it is no longer there, but I would have loved to have seen it as it had many happy memories for Shirley and I.

It was a very carefree time, learning to swim and to fly kites. Riding on camels, playing on the beach and collecting the Coca Cola bottles left behind every day to get the deposit money. I can remember dad giving us two shillings every day to spend which is worth about £2 now. We thought we were in heaven.

Many days were spent with dad’s bodyguard Nevsat and his family and friends. It felt as though life was one long holiday. We were shielded from all the fighting going on at that time, the nearest we got to that was dad having to carry a gun which we thought was very exciting.

Samuel Middler picture 1 Continue reading

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Iskele Turns Into Old Istanbul (Part 3)

Iskele Turns Into Old Istanbul (Part 3)


Steven Roberts continues his report on the making of the film ‘Reis’ about the life of Turkish President Erdogan on location in Iskele.


Iskele5Filming has now started in Iskele, as you can see from these pictures. The shops have been changed to look like Istanbul in the 1950s and 1960s, and there are even film posters from the era in evidence. Continue reading

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Iskele Turns Into Old Istanbul (Part 2)

Iskele Turns Into Old Istanbul (Part 2)


Steven Roberts continues his report on the filming of ‘Reis’ (Leader) a Turkish film about President Erdogan in the town of Iskele.

Iskele-4I didn’t see filming start on Friday, but the transformation of Iskele to look like 1950s Istanbul continues apace. These photos show how this is happening stage by stage. The tarmac road has been covered in beautiful cobbles in a circular pattern set in sand. I expect these will have to be removed after filming, though I wonder if the Iskele mayor might be tempted to make the film makers an offer to leave them in place?  They certainly improve the look of the street. Continue reading

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Iskele turns into old Istanbul (Part 1)

Iskele turns into old Istanbul (Part 1)


By Steven Roberts…….
If you wander around the centre of Iskele you will see a hive of activity as metal is being welded, wood is being cut, and fabric awnings are  being put on some of the shops and cafes. Why this sudden activity?

Iskele3Parts of Iskele town centre are being turned into a film set. Turkish film director Ali Avci is making a new film called ‘Reis’ (Leader) documenting the life of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Iskele is being transformed to look like the Kasimpasa district of Istanbul, where Erdogan spent his life in the 1950’s. The film could not be made in Istanbul because so much development has taken place in the last couple of decades. Continue reading

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Driving to Cyprus and importing a car – I’ve done it!

Driving to Cyprus and importing a car – I’ve done it!

By Steven Roberts…..

ToyotaPriusSideWhen we planned our move out here, my wife and I talked about our wish to bring a lot of possessions with us, and how we would need a car when we got here.  I was reluctant to get rid of the Toyota Prius I had owned virtually from new. Its second hand value in England was not high, and I would have to buy a car when we got here anyway.  Most of the second hand cars we’ve seen in Cyprus have obviously been well used for holiday rentals, so despite the import duty, we thought the ‘devil we knew’ was a safer bet. Driving the car here also meant we could bring our computer, radios, clothes and a load of books with us.  It also meant we could have an interesting touring holiday driving across the continent and through Turkey. Continue reading

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Cyprus Culture And Traditions – Midsummer Nights By Lois Cemal

Midsummer Nights


Personal Notes on Village Fairs by a foreign wife
By Lois Cemal….

An accidental fall from a homemade roundabout at a school fun fair left me with a broken arm just before the holidays and a healthy fear of whirling around for the sake of “fun”.  I knew someday I would have to get back on the horse; that day came at my first panayır, or village fair, back in1986, the year we arrived to settle in Cyprus. (It was to be the last fair to be held in our village.)  My two young children pulled me through the crowds to watch the only ride at the event.   In front of us were twelve or so ‘airplanes’ on mechanical arms that rotated around a central axis and rose hydraulically to about 4 metres high while lights flashed and music blared. It was fairly tame by most boardwalk funfair standards; I would even call it a ‘kiddies’ ride. What worried me was that it seemed to flaunt all safety rules.  There was no security fencing around it and kids swarmed in to claim a seat whenever the ride started to slow down. Two adult-size persons could fit in each ‘plane and there was a pedal on the floor that made it rise while it went around.

bare bulbs and crowds at panayir Continue reading

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