Six different Lives in one Person
By Heidemarie Blankenstein
For the past 50 years the Turkish Cypriots have been living under international isolation, which they have never deserved. – Some weeks ago I was listening to a strange conversation: “What will be in for Turkish Cypriots during the next 50 years”? – The answer was frightening for me: “They will disappear completely, there is no chance for their political survival, and the world is not interested in them”.
I was shocked because my empathy for Northern Cyprus and their suffering people is considerably ample. – Turkish Cypriots are different from Greek Cypriots, different from mainland Turks. Why? They speak at least two languages, they were never religious fundamentalists, they are open-minded and friendly to foreigners and they carry proudly their political hardship destiny.
Sevil Emirzade is a Turkish Cypriot woman, born 1948 in Arçoz. She started her studies in 2006 at the Near East University of Lefkoşa and got her diploma in tiyatro yazarlik (theatre science) in 2010. Since then she published several dramas and three books.
Mid-May she presented her recent book “Çifte Nikah”, a theatre play about a double-wedding and many traditions of a Turkish Cypriot village 60 years ago. The book is illustrated by several ancient photo documents. – The presentation took place in Gönyeli’s Eski Konak, exactly on the birthday of Sevils father, where he was born. Today Eski Konak is a restaurant, but in former times it was the house of the well-known and respectable family Damdelen. In Sevil’s speech, broadcasted by KTV and GAK TV, she mentioned the exciting ups and downs of Turkish Cypriot history and culture, influenced by British, Turkish, Greek and European rules and rulers, by their behavior and finally by their wars.
Sevil Emirzade has six lives in one person. She acts as a writer, as wife of School Inspector Hasan Emirzade, as mother, as grandmother, as shop-keeper in Lefkosa’s Büyük Han. Sevil was 55 years the pleasant voice of Cyprus Broadcasting and presenter of Radio Bayrak.
By her new book she tries to give Turkish Cypriots a chance to be proud and self-confident of their culture and, hopefully – and despite all predictions – to survive as honored citizens of their country.
Turkish Cyprus, May 2015