Akincilar – Lurucina Reunions
“Once Upon a Time 2014”
By Chris Elliott
Margaret Sheard and I had the privilege of visiting the Akincilar annual village festival last year as the guests of Raziye Kocaismail who is from this village as well as being the Founder and President of Help Those With Cancer Association (Tulips) .
Following this visit we were left with many feelings about the village. Sadness at its decline and also fascination for the rich heritage of what was once the largest Turkish Cypriot village in Cyprus before its decline since the 1950s. Seeing so many people interested in its roots through Facebook groups and the work of Ismail Veli with his website Families of Lurucina click here and on cyprusscene.com one can only be delighted that so many people are now taking an interest and wanting to locate and record the history of the past for the generations of the future.
So on Sunday 4th May I returned to Akincilar/Lurucina for this year’s annual festival and was delighted to meet again so many people I had met before plus I became acutely aware just how much affection there is for this village and having learned so much over the past year, I could now understand why Turkish Cypriots from all four corners of the globe are revisiting their roots and on this day mature adults who had left the village as children were now returning in great numbers to meet old school chums of yesteryear who had also moved away as children with their families.
So what of the village, well it still sits on the map like a tear drop hanging into the green line surrounded by UN, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot military. Times are changing however because on the lovely sunny day when so many people came to the village in cars and coaches to enjoy the festive occasion including the current TRNC Prime Minister Özkan Yorgancıoğlu, former President Mehmet Ali Talat, and former Minister of Finance, Ersin Tatar.
The throngs of people gathered in the village square were delighted to hear a speech by TRNC Speaker of the House, Sibel Siber telling them that plans were now well under way and all permissions granted and finances reserved for the building of a new road into the village that will make access for all people possible and will then enable the village to start its rebirth and also redevelopment.
Just walking round the village you cannot help but be sad to see remains of classic older style houses that have collapsed because the owners had long ago moved away. Times are changing as there has been some redevelopment with funding provided by the European Union and in the village square there was a very impressive display of posters showing the work of the Cyprus International University in carrying out architectural surveys of properties with the intention of trying to help save and preserve them.
Looking back over the last year and all that has been written about Akincilar that has been preserved in our Portfolio under Cyprus Village Life, without doubt we have been able to bring together a great deal of information that other researchers can now use to further their own research of Akincilar and other Turkish and Greek Cypriot Heritage.
I had a great day at Akincilar and look forward to next year with excitement and to what nice surprises I will find and before leaving I went to speak to Raziye Kocaismail about the changes she has seen and experienced since we came together last year and you can hear what she had to say in our video interview below.
For those readers who would like to visit Akincilar as guests of Tulips, please email email@example.com