Esentepe Committee visit Akincilar

By Margaret Sheard

I have visited Akincilar a few times and have previously written about the village (see links at the end of the article).  Now many people have Tulips logo englishvisited the village thanks to Raziye Kocaismail of Help Those with Cancer Association (Tulips) who made arrangements for their mini-bus to go to Akincilar on a weekly basis at certain times in the year so that those wishing to visit the village would be able to have access and see for themselves this piece of heritage which had been forgotten for many years but now, hopefully, is back on the map.

Recently the Esentepe Fun, Run and Ramble committee members and their partners visited Akincilar and committee member Sue Steel has sent a nice write-up about their experience.

VISIT TO AKINCILAR (LOURIJINA)

By Sue Steel

A THANK YOU trip to a village, which has changed very little since 1974, was organised for the Esentepe Fun, Run and Ramble 2014 committee and their partners recently.

The trip, organised by Raziye Kocaïsmaïl, President of Help Those with Cancer Association (Tulips) was a way of saying thank you to the committee for the work done to raise the TL65,731 which was handed over earlier this month.

Mrs Kocaïsmaïl’s village of Akincilar (Lourijina) Committeehas been closed to foreigners since 1974 as access to the village can only be gained by travelling through a Turkish army camp.  However, with special permission from the Commander of the army base, we were able to visit on Thursday, 15th May

It was an extraordinary day, not least because Mrs Kocaïsmaïl knocked on village doors and we, as strangers, were invited into their homes to have a look around and even take photographs if we wished.

We visited the Kirklar Turbesi (The Tomb of Forty) which is impressive in its simplicity as the site was a holy place to Christians and Muslims alike.  Before the intervention, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots would come together to pray.

We visited the shop once owned by Mrs Kocaïsmaïl’s father but now the resting place of many family treasures including an old record player, a Bakelite black telephone and numerous photographs of family members.  We were also taken to the home of Mr and Mrs Kocaïsmaïl where memories were shared.

An exhilarating day ended with an appetising lunch of kleftico or Old Manchicken at a restaurant owned by Mrs Kocaïsmaïl’s cousin. It was at this point we met a man aged 103 who was still working in the fields, driving his car and reading his newspaper without the aid of spectacles.  It must be something in the water!

This village is a must to go and see if you have the opportunity.  Tulips are organising the following trips: the last Sunday of June (29th), July (27th) and August (31st). For reservations please email tulipscarole@yahoo.com.

Quote by Mrs Kocaïsmaïl: “I am so happy my friends were able to come to Akincilar. Thank God I have such nice friends that make me feel strong and good.”

Quote by Art Watson, Chairman of the Esentepe Fun, Run and Ramble 2014 Committee:

“We all feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to visit the village and meet some of Mrs Kocaïsmaïl’s family and friends who live there.  It is a remarkable place and it was incredibly interesting to hear about the history and the very difficult times that she and her family had to live through. We all had an experience that will live with us forever.”

To see more photos of the visit see the slideshow below.

If you would like to be included on one of the forthcoming trips to Akincilar contact tulipscarole@yahoo.com. So that arrangements can be made.  You will need to supply your passport number and you will also need to take your actual passport if you make the trip.

A Visit to Akincilar    click here

Back to Akincilar      click here    

Kirklar Turbesi          click here