By Margaret Sheard …..
We were unable to attend the opening ceremony of the 9th Ozanköy Pekmez Festival on Friday 25th August, but made our way up to the village on Saturday for the second evening’s entertainment, where Girne Mayor, Nidai Gűngördű and Ozanköy Mukhtar, Mustafa Uzun, were again present.
The tribute to Osman Turkay had been unveiled at the opening ceremony the previous evening and it looked very impressive. As we had arrived early we wandered around the stalls which were being set up and admired the many items for sale, including hand-painted tiles, handicrafts, pekmez and other products, jewellery etc. and also there were delicious aromas coming from the many stalls cooking pancakes and potato items and a kebab stall with much smoke rising from the cooking process.
Following this we found ourselves a seat in front of the large stage which had been erected at the Ozanköy Sports Club to await the first entertainment for the evening which was the Filipino Community Dancers. The ladies looked stunning in their lovely dresses and they performed 3 traditional Filipino dances, much to the delight of the audience. I spoke later with Naty Ziya, who had introduced the group and given some information about the dances performed by the Filipino ladies. Naty said she lived in London for 44 years, she is married to a Turkish Cypriot and now lives in Ozanköy. Being of Filipino origin she got involved with the group which performs at many festivals and events in North Cyprus. The Filipino Community are very appreciative of the support they receive.
Next on the programme was a folk dance group from Lefkoşa who performed some very energetic and storytelling traditional folk dances which are always so popular at this type of festival event and the male and female dancers looked so good in their bright and colourful traditional costumes. I later spoke with Serhat Kozoğlu who manages the dancers and he told me the group would be performing again on the 2nd September in Karşiyaka.
We then decided to go and eat and chose the Happy Garden Restaurant which is located in the village square where we enjoyed our meal in the very tranquil garden setting under trees decked with coloured lights. While we were having our meal we listened to the next artist on the night’s programme, which was Lűtfiye Özipek and she performed many songs both in Turkish and English so it was a nice accompaniment to our meal.
Unfortunately we were not able to stay for the last performance by Nafiz Dölek but I am sure it was equally as successful as the other performances.
A great evening out in very warm and balmy weather in true Cypriot style and very well attended. Well done Girne Municipality and Ozanköy Village.
To see more pictures from the evening look at the slideshow below.