Memories of the Governor
By Chris ELLIOTT
North Cyprus is a very small place and you seem to get to know many people and encounter them time and time again, and so it was with Ali Yaliman.
My first recollections of Ali were when Margaret introduced me to him and thereafter, I encountered him when I was either involved with a charity project or writing current affairs articles for a website.
So it was that I went to visit Ali when the Cyprus Observer was starting as I was keen to write all about Ali and the project on the internet but as often happens in life, plans are changed and I soon found myself writing for Ali as well as on the internet. Soon I was writing more for him and we debated many ways of developing the newspaper and including interesting and unique articles.
Looking back with fondness, I can remember some of the great times we had together and one was having “a day out with the governor,” when we drove early in the morning to Dipkarpaz stopping off at the new Karpaz Gate Marina near Yeni Erenköy for coffee. This was to be a very fascinating day as we had gone to write a report on the official start of construction of the GAU Karpasia Life Campus.
This was to be an unusual experience with me standing in baking sunshine to take photographs in front of the stage where all of the VIPs gave their speeches. After the ceremony I was introduced by Ali to many people and then leaving the complex I drove into Dipkarpaz where I showed Ali the sights and I ended up having a very Turkish dinner in a very Turkish restaurant with Ali, a very Turkish man.
There were many other occasions I can recall but the most memorable was when we had been discussing some potential projects and I took him out and called by at the Aphrodite Restaurant in Lapta where I wanted to introduce Ali to my friend, Cemal Boransel who I had written an article about. To our surprise we found Cemal bedecked in traditional clothes with some Dutch visitors and Cemal was leading a young girl in traditional Turkish dancing. Ali was delighted to see this as we had been discussing that day the increasing number of Dutch tourists who were coming to North Cyprus.
Needless to say this experience became an article in that week’s edition of the Cyprus Observer and it was called “A Dutch Treat”. This article I also published a little later in the website I was creating and to this day it ranks among the mostly highly read and by many people in The Netherlands..
Life can lead us in different directions and for me it was away from writing for the newspaper, to concentrate on writing on the internet on my website but without the time learning so much from Ali, I could not have achieved my goals.
Margaret and I were so shocked and saddened at his death but know he enriched the lives of so many people by his actions and support and we wish him peace and also pray for his wife Rosa, who will miss him like so many other people.
God bless you Ali and keep up the good work in the hereafter.