Leman Kűltűr Centre opens in Lefkoșa
By Margaret Sheard
Girne American University has been awarded the franchise in the TRNC of the new Leman Kűltűr Centre which is situated at No. 80 Mehmet Akif Caddesi, Dereboyu/Lefkoşa and we were invited to the opening ceremony on 30th July.
Leman Kűltűr already has 14 franchises in Turkey and their aim is to establish a franchise in many other University cities. Leman Kűltűr was established 19 years ago and initially it was a gathering environment for Leman journal staff by means of contributing to the city through cultural and artistic activities. It soon became a gathering and performing location hosting famous names such as Cem Yilmaz, Ata Demirer and Mehmet Esen.
The aim of Leman Kűltűr is to support the activities of youth in art and culture and the various locations are now a popular venue for university students where they can be entertained and enjoy food for all tastes at reasonable prices.
When we arrived at the Leman Kűltűr Centre there were already a large number of people gathered, the building was festooned with balloons as is the normal practice in North Cyprus for an opening. We recognised many people from Girne American University, including the Founding Rector and Chancellor, Serhat Akpinar. We also spotted Ersin Tatar, the previous Minister of Finance and also the Mayor of Lefkoşa, Kadri Fellahoğlu. People started to enter the building ready for the opening ceremony which was introduced by Simgi Ozekler and there then followed speeches (in Turkish) by Serhat Akpinar, Kadri Fellahoğlu and Kemal Şentűrk who is the Leman Kűltűr CEO. I was squashed between 2 cameramen so found it a bit difficult to take photographs of the opening ceremony, at least I was able to record some of it but I have also included some other photographs which have been shared on Facebook. Chris was elsewhere in the crowd with his video camera.
The building itself is brand new, the original structure being totally re-built, it is nicely decorated and very well laid out with a bar and a separate food service area and there is seating both inside and outside which is very fashionable and comfortable. There is also an upper floor at the rear inside the building, giving an additional seating area.
When the opening ceremony was over the friendly smiling staff mingled with the guests offering a lovely selection of canapés and other delicious looking food to nibble at while having conversations with the huge amount of people who had come to witness this momentous occasion.
We were then entertained by a group of musicians from Istanbul – Milky Cacao – who were extremely good and kept the place buzzing with their non-stop music.
Unfortunately, we were unable to stay until the end of the evening but understand there was a firework display in front of the building to round off the event.
To see some more photos see the slideshow below and the video prepared by Chris Elliott.