7th Lapta Tourism Festival Cyprus Night
By Margaret Sheard
Photos by Chris Elliott
As part of the Lapta Tourism Festival, the Cyprus Night is always a very popular event and this year it was held at Tolga’s Restaurant in Karşiyaka, a lovely venue for a lovely event, where Berke Ertopaloğlu welcomed us and showed us to our table. We were introduced to Dudu Gizem Kurum who runs the restaurant with her uncle Sami Gűneş and we noticed throughout the evening the attention they both gave to their guests.
We had a lovely meal and settled down to watch the entertainment which had been planned by Berke and his band of helpers at the Lapta Belediyesi.
Alas, part way through the evening and meal, off went the electric! Oh no, another power cut we all thought but it turned out that a cable from the main road to the restaurant had severed so it was only the restaurant that was plunged into darkness. No doubt there were frantic phone calls being made but in the meantime, with some improvisation, the show went on. Chris had gone off to investigate and Berke told him that the Lapta Belediyesi responded within 10 minutes by sending workers to see what the problem was followed by a high-lift truck and, with the arrival of the Kibtek engineer, between them hovering over the restaurant grapevine canopy, they repaired the power cable, probably without the guests below even knowing they were there. How is that for North Cyprus emergency repairs!!
In the meantime, the show went on and the staff lit tea-lights in a semi-circle and the Lapta Belediyesi Folk Dancers gave a brilliant performance of a wedding ceremony folk dance. It was actually quite an authentic atmosphere.
The DJ for the evening did a super job with great music which encouraged people to get up and dance and while all this was going on the Lapta Belediye and Kibtek were busily trying to restore the electric supply, which eventually came on to cheers and clapping and the rest of the evening continued without further incident.
The last act to perform was Fatih Sultan, a female impersonator, who was also extremely good and had the audience up and dancing for the rest of the evening. We spoke with Fatih after the performance who was originally from Nicosia and now lives in Karakum, Fatih works as a music programme producer for BRT Radio and performs at Tolga’s Restaurant on Saturday evenings.
The evening had finished all too soon and by the time we left everyone had gone so a very late night but also a very enjoyable one.