November 30, 2023


By Margaret Sheard….
Video by Chris Elli

There was a song in the 1950’s entitled “Such a Night” which contained the words “oh what a night it was, it really was, such a night”.  The concert at the Bedesten in Lefkoşa on Friday 20th November was indeed such a night.  What a night and what a performance by Demetra George Mustafoğlu together with her guests Katie Economidou, Fikri Toros, Burak Besir, Maestro Rauf Kasimov and Ilhan Sami Ozulu.


Demetra, Katie and Fikri were recently the proud recipients of the US State Department’s Cultural Diplomacy Award.

This event had been planned by Demetra and her “A” Team to raise funds for the Children with Special Needs Centre in Lefkoşa (Lefkoşa Özel Eğitim Merkezi and the Lefkoşa Özel Eğitim ve iş Merkezi), which followed their fundraising event for the Centre with the Halloween Happening at Demetra’s Çatalköy home – Villa Diva.  The “A” team includes Figen Rasmussen and Hatice Kerimgil who were so busy during the evening, not only greeting people as they arrived but also making sure that everything was running smoothly throughout the evening.

The Bedesten was packed to capacity, people just kept arriving and eventually there was not enough seating but the latecomers were happy to stand and enjoy this wonderful concert, which exceeded all expectations.

Mehmet Mustafoglu, Fikri Toros, Meral Akinci and President Mustafa Akinci
Mehmet Mustafoglu, Fikri Toros, Meral Akinci and President Mustafa Akinci

Demetra and the guests were honoured with the presence of President Mustafa Akıncı and his wife Meral.   The President and his wife joined the guests for cocktails and snacks before the performance and then everyone settled down to enjoy the concert which started with Demetra singing Brindisi from Verdi’s La Traviata, brilliant.

This was followed by Katie Economidou singing Schubert’s Ave Maria, again brilliant.  At one point Katie invited soprano Laden Ince to the stage and they sang some lovely pieces together, including Time to say Goodbye, all of which were well received by the audience.

Demetra’s piano accompaniment was by her very good friend Maestro Rauf Kasimov and Katie was accompanied by Fikri Toros.

The flutist – Burak Besir gave some wonderful solo performances and also accompanied the artists on many occasions.  Violinist – Ilhan Sami Ozulu gave a superb performance, wandering around the audience as he played and he also accompanied some of the artists during the performance.  In addition there was accompaniment from Cemal Sommezkale on Bass Guitar and Ugur Guclu – Percussion.

As well as classical pieces, we were also treated to songs from the shows – Cats, Evita, Porgy & Bess with favourites such as Memories, Don’t Cry for me Argentina, and one of my all time favourites My Heart Will Go On from Titanic, sung beautifully by Demetra with accompaniment by Burak Besir and Ilhan Ozulu. The grand finalé was John Lennon’s “IMAGINE” which encouraged the audience to join in and ended with a standing ovation.   What can we say, other than that this was an absolutely fantastic concert, with wonderful voices and musicians.

When the guests were arriving we recognised many faces, among which were Fehime and Ziynet from Şah Marketplace and some of the other members of their family.  Şah Marketplace was one of the sponsors of the concert.  An appropriate time to list the sponsors who helped to make this concert such a resounding success.

Cyprus Today / Cyprusscene / Iktisat Bank / Living Magazine / Şah Marketplace / Saraba Restaurant / Starling Market / Fraser Meridies.

We look forward to many more concerts of this calibre and maybe a larger venue will be needed next time judging by the number of people who came to the Bedesten.  However, the Bedesten was a perfect choice for this event, with its peaceful and historical atmosphere it couldn’t have been a better setting.

Well done to Demetra and her “A” Team for all their hard work in making this wonderful concert a reality and such a success.

For those people who were unable to attend the concert and those who would like to see it again, please enjoy the videos below, which can be downloaded from Youtube.

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