Turk Riders CC North Cyprus
1st International Motorcycle Festival in Girne
A big Success
By Ralph Kratzer
Six months ago, a new motorcycle club was founded in Northern Cyprus, the Turk Riders Chopper Club. They are part of approximately 200 members belonging to the motorcycle club of the same name in Turkey. This started in Adana, and is now established in several major cities and covers Istanbul in the northwest to Hatay in the far south – almost the entire country.
Motorcycle clubs, or as some say “rocker clubs”, are used repeatedly in the headlines of the worldwide media in a negative way, but a few exceptions do not say anything about the vast majority. And this majority wants mainly three things: share the passion of motorcycling with like-minded people, do activities together and have fun.
So, Naci Kaya, notary from Alsancak and president of the local Turk Riders chapter, sat, along with his club-mates from Northern Cyprus, to discuss the ambitious goal of organizing the first International Motorcycle Festival in this part of the island. Much time has been invested in this project and, thanks to generous sponsors, in the end a great event came about!
The President of all Turk Riders and founder of the club, Ömer Zülkadiroglu, and dozens of club comrades from Turkey arrived last week with their heavy motorcycles and were befittingly accommodated in the well-appointed Olive Tree Hotel in Girne-Catalköy.
During the first two days of the festival a lot of internal club activities were made, joint excursions and visits, inter alia to the memorial of Rauf Denktas, the founding president of the TRNC, to the famous “Mavi Kösk” (the so-called Blue Villa – read more about it by clicking here!), and to the Escape Beach, the place where in 1974 the Turkish troops landed to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority from further violent attacks and bring them peace and freedom.
On the first night there was a dinner and pool party with live music at the Olive Tree Hotel and the following evening the club came together for a great dinner at the Butik Steakhouse in Girne.
Apart from the club-comrades of the Turk Riders North Cyprus, who had come from Turkey, England and Germany, and friends from various other motorcycle clubs in the TRNC, also numerous sightseers arrived who admired the countless bikes and provided themselves at several stalls with drinks, food and various accessories, such as T-shirts and bandanas.
Live music from the Niyal Öztürk Band, the performance of DJ Uğur Atay and a spectacular dance show offered a variety of entertainment to the numerous guests. Moderator on the stage this day was the famous Turkish TV presenter and motorcycle tester Barkin Bayoğlu, who is also known as the “Man in the Golden Suit”.
Towards the end of the event many valuable prizes were raffled off, e.g. petrol vouchers from Alpet, insurance from Güven Sigorta, a Shark helmet and Harley-Davidson boots sponsored by Bikers Club in Girne, a dinner for two at the Butik Steak House and as the highlight, a brand new motorcycle, a hot Bobber chopper in the colours of the Turk Riders. The Mayor of Girne, Nidai Güngördü, drew the lots under supervision of the lawyer Meltem Atakara, and the grand prize winner, Bugra Güler, could hardly believe his luck that day!
The festival went very peacefully and harmoniously. All participants and visitors had great fun which once again is a proof that one should not have prejudices … so called “rockers” are just people like you and me!