North Cyprus chivalry in action

By Chris Elliott

Reading Bertil Wedin’s article “Why the TRNC should develop and spread chivalry click here on cyprusscene.com, prompted many memories of both the past and present.

Recently Margaret and I had a week’s break in Trabzon, Turkey and one afternoon we ventured out on a dolmuş (bus) to visit a very large shopping centre and for the return journey we had to cross a very busy highway to catch the return dolmuş. Problem, at this bus stop many buses were arriving so I asked a young woman as best I could, which bus went back to the location of our hotel.

She immediately ran to a number of arriving dolmuş to speak to the drivers and then promptly ushered us on to the correct dolmuş. Immediately a man stood up and gave his seat to Margaret and a young boy of around 11 years of age also offered me his seat.

When I first visited North Cyprus with my late wife some 14 years ago we went on an adventure by dolmuş to Lefkosa on a Sunday and it was a really hot day. When it was time to leave, we walked out of the old city through the Kyrenia Gate and discovered there were many bus stops and we were walking up and down trying to discover which bus stop was the correct one. Almost immediately 4 or 5 people sitting on the grass under the shade of the trees came to us and offered help and put us on the correct dolmuş.

I also remember all those years ago seeing locals walking past the 1001 store in the centre of Kyrenia and recall seeing a man pick up a wallet dropped by another man and chasing after him to Big hearted George Ali Ferhatoglularıgive it to him.

Saturday 26th October found me sitting with a few friends and fellow writers at Cafe George in Kyrenia High Street and it was a great sunny day with people just sitting talking and enjoying each other’s company. It was also the occasion of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and big hearted “George”, (Ali Ferhatogluları) the owner of Cafe George and charity event supporter as well as running a Pink Day themed event he had also placed a big Pink Sign and collection bucket on the footpath to try and raise some more donations for Help Those With Cancer Association – Tulips.

I suddenly heard George calling out in very loud agitated Turkish and when I turned round I saw around five young boys of around 7 to 8 years of age sheepishly standing near the collection bucket and they became even more sheepish when George strode over to them and seemed to be giving them a very severe lecture.

So I think most of our readers will understand the broader concept of chivalry that was summed up so well in Bertil’s article. It is about self-respect, respect for others, politeness, good manners, integrity, honour, high-mindedness, justice, fairness, truthfulness and courage and so much more.

Can our readers imagine this same type of incident we saw at Cafe George in the UK or elsewhere. So often we read in newspapers or see reports on TV of groups of children being abusive and threatening to adults so it seems here in North Cyprus chivalry is still very much alive and with children being educated correctly by perhaps you and I, many will become adults that respect and defend the needs of chivalry we have seen portrayed on these pages  and in North Cyprus.