6th Lapta Tourism Festival
Uniting Countries and Cultures

By Margaret Sheard

We were invited to a press and TV promotion on 19th June to Festival logointroduce young people from different countries who will be part of the finale to the 6th Lapta Tourism Festival which is to be held from 20th to 23rd June and we were accompanied by our colleague Ralph Kratzer, Secretary of the Foreign Residents in the TRNC and his partner Heidi. Ralph has already placed an article on both the TFR website and cyprusscene covering the splendid evening and this can be seen by clicking here

The event was held at the Hilltop Restaurant Some of the Bavarian groupin Lapta and we were pleased to meet the Mayor of Lapta, Fuat Namsoy and his team headed by Berke Ertopaloğlu the seemingly tireless organiser of so many events which have been part of the Lapta Tourism Festival. In fact when we arrived Berke was collecting some of the visiting groups to bring them to the restaurant for the occasion.

Some of the Mexico groupThere then followed a speech from Mayor Fuat Namsoy and an exchange of gifts with the 5 visiting countries which was again a very happy experience for everyone. It was very hard to stop the visitors from dancing and eventually everyone was joining in and thoroughly enjoying the occasion.

There was an excellent meal laid on by the Hilltop Restaurant but before long the call of music and dance was too strong and the Mexican group started to play and before long the visitors were making their way to the terrace to enjoy the music so there was Mexican music along with the drums and Some of the Togo groupshakers of the group from Togo all blending together with so many happy people enjoying each other’s company.

It was an excellent evening of culture from the visiting groups which were from Bavaria (Germany), Czech Republic, Mexico, Togo and Turkey and the wonderful atmosphere which we experienced was from the way in which all of these nationalities enjoyed the evening together, despite maybe not speaking the same language, it did not matter as the music and dancing was all the communication they needed to make it a night to remember and share in North Cyprus. I noticed Berke in the middle of everything Some more of the Mexicansand cannot but marvel at his enthusiasm and energy. As we were leaving Berke said he would be going on with the visitors to their hotel so no doubt the festivities continued for many more hours.

We were so pleased to be invited to this prelude to the Lapta Tourism Festival, it was a superb evening and congratulations must be given to the Mayor and his team for the marvellous job they are doing in promoting tourism, not only in Lapta but for the whole of North Cyprus. In a brief interview with Fuat Namsoy he stressed that tourism did in fact start in Lapta Flags of some of the Nationsmany years ago and he appreciates the importance of this to promote Lapta and North Cyprus.

If the Lapta Municipality can achieve this, just imagine if all of the other Municipalities of the TRNC did the same, surely it would put North Cyprus at the forefront in encouraging tourism and bringing worldwide cultures together in the name of peace and harmony.

To see the wonderful events throughout the evening, see the video prepared by Chris Elliott (mature student video maker and editor, getting better all the time!).