November 30, 2023

VOX POP tête-à-tête


By Engin Dervisağa

I love my job with Bayrak Radio and Television because through it I meet so many interesting people and I am able to broadcast the interviews with my guests on Vox Pop shows on BRT2 Television which are increasingly being watched both at home here in North Cyprus and also worldwide.

My latest Vox Pop show was no exception, in fact it gave me the opportunity to meet many more people than normal and learn about their occupations or interests.  So this week I did more than one interview which covered very different subjects, one was with Chef – Batuhan Piatti and the other was a series of interviews with the stallholders at the Alsancak Lemar Market.

I am pleased to show below some scenes in slideshows from my show.

Batuhan Piatti

I was very pleased to meet Batuhan to find out more about this remarkable chef who was recently visiting North Cyprus and was running promotional workshops and visited Ezic Premier Restaurant. Batuhan Piatti meets Engin Dervisağa sml He likes to produce dishes using local foodstuffs as much as possible.  He said that he enjoys going to local markets where he can interact with the local people.

I asked Batuhan a little about his early life and he told me he was born in Istanbul but grew up in Italy.  He said he was not a good student at school and chose a career involving something he liked to do, and this was cooking so at 17 years of age this was the path he chose to take.

Batuhan has worked in top restaurants in Florence and Milan in Italy, Madrid in Spain, France and Lugano in Switzerland.  He also worked at Cipriano a Mayfair restaurant in London for 1½ years.

In 2005 Batuhan got married and at this time he decided to move back to Istanbul where there were many opportunities in his profession.    He now has a son and daughter.   He tries to go back to visit Italy 3-4 times a year if he can.

I was aware that Batuhan had been a Masterchef  judge and I asked him about this.  He said this was for the Australian Masterchef in 2011 and he was the “bad” judge.  The programme was very successful and had 30 million viewers and he said it was a very enjoyable experience.

Batuhan then did a cookery demonstration for Smoked Norwegian Salmon with an Asparagus and Beetroot salad.   Delicious.

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Alsancak Lemar Market

I also had the opportunity of interviewing some of the stallholders at Alsancak Lemar Market which was a very interesting experience.

Sheila – who had on her stall paintings, greeting cards and jewellery, all of which she has produced herself.  Sheila had been 1 Sheila talking about her paintings and the other things she makes as a hobby smlvisiting North Cyprus on holiday for many years and 11 years ago decided to settle here permanently.   All of the items she sells on her stall are made as a hobby which now keeps her fully occupied.

Nick – has lived in North Cyprus for 13 years and has been a collector for most of his life, mainly cigarette cards, books (many of which are first editions of poetry etc.), knives, bayonets and spears, and minerals.   He mainly sells bric-a-brac on his stall and there was a large range of different items on display.

Dawn Buyukertas – I recently interviewed Dawn at her home and she told me she makes jewellery and this is what she was selling at the market on her stall.  Dawn goes to Turkey to buy gemstones which she makes into bracelets, necklaces and earrings and she tries to use real silver wherever possible.   Dawn said she finds making jewellery very therapeutic.

Sue Chart – is a keen gardener and had many varieties of plants on her stall.  In the UK Sue worked at Grimsby General Hospital in the Pathology Department.  Sue had visited North Cyprus on holiday, fell in love with the climate and the people and moved here 8 years ago.

Steve Sydenham – this is another person I have interviewed on my show previously when we spoke of his many different careers such as an airline steward and his involvement with British motor racing – forming the Racing for Britain organisation,   Steve had a collection of books when he moved to North Cyprus and decided to sell them at a market which he enjoyed so much he started to beg books from friends and acquaintances and so his book stall took off and now he has around 1,000 books.  Steve did say they were not all on his stall that day!Sonia with a huge tiger sml

Ingrid – here I found a lovely cake stall and Ingrid said she rises early and makes all the cakes herself.  I would think a difficult task as she had with her baby Pearl, her 13 month old daughter.  I could see donuts, brownies and many other types of cake on display and so had a taste of a donut, Mmmm.   Ingrid is from Sweden and I asked her if she goes back to visit, she said she has only been once in 13 years.  Her mother and father are both here in Cyprus so she has her family around her.    Ingrid likes the climate in North Cyprus as well as the people and the easy way of life.

Siona – designer of jewellery.  Siona has been coming part time to North Cyprus for 15 years and she spends a lot of her other time visiting other countries, especially where there are jungles.  She has a love for tigers, lions and the cheetah.  Siona said that in some countries the males and females are being killed which leaves a lot of young animals defenceless so she tries to help with raising them to avoid extinction of some of the species.

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