December 2, 2023

By Engin Dervişağa…….

Due to popular demand, I am delighted together with my colleague Qossay Eleyan to bring you a repeat of our interesting report on “Discovering North Cyprus” from the The Gamblers Inn or Kumarcılar Han in Lefkosa.

It was the custom in the Middle Ages for merchants to group themselves together in their respective trades, e.g. leather, cloth, jewellery, spices and household utensils. Also, merchants from some distant town would always favour a certain khan which eventually assumed the name of that town.

The Kumarcılar Khan, however, means the inn of gamblers and was purchased 35 years ago by John Aziz Kent a retired businessman and Hotelier and such was his love of his homeland and its heritage that he has sought over many years support from successive TRNC governments to have this restored.

This he finally achieved with a restoration grant of over £1,000,000 from the Turkish Embassy plus his own investment and that of the  TRNC government who will manage the building for the next 10 years before control of the building reverts back to John Aziz Kent.

This show will be transmitted on BRT2 on Monday 11th December at 19.00pm and repeated on Thursday 14th December at 19.50pmThis programme was edited by Kut Adali

To go direct to BRT2 TV to watch these shows by live streaming on your PC, Smart Phone or Tablet at Cyprus local time click here  and select the BRT2 channel in the viewing screen.

I also produce the Vox Pop TV show which features interviews with many people living in North Cyprus and this is screened on BRT2 on Sundays at 15.oopm and again on Tuesdays at 18.30pm If you wish you can also watch a number of my past Vox Pop shows which can be selected for viewing by clicking here

For Radio Lovers do also tune in and join me on Bayrak International on Saturday  at 19.00pm for my programme Top Twenty which is compiled by DJ Bora and this show is repeated on Sunday at 15.00pm. We are transmitting this on 6.150 MH/z. Short-wave, 87.8 and 105 FM Stereo.

You can also tune in to live streaming of this radio show on your PC by clicking here and select FM105 Bayrak International.

For those local readers who have interesting hobbies or interests who think it could make an interesting subject for my Vox Pop TV show, do please send me a message.

2 thoughts on “Discovering North Cyprus 11/12/17, The Gamblers Inn or Kumarcılar Han

  1. I would like to say thank you to Cyprusscene and Engin Dervişağa for showing an interest in the Kumarcılar Han (Gamblers Inn) in Lefkosa through the Discovering North Cyprus programmes on BRT2 television (click here). I took a liking to this beautiful structure built by the Ottomans which had deteriorated over the centuries and left in very poor condition inside the walled city of Lefkoşa.

    I returned to my Island from the UK to build the first Cypriot Turkish hotels and also help build the tourism Industry for my beloved and deprived Northern Cyprus because everything up to 1974 was being destroyed by the Greeks.

    The Cypriot Turkish people before 1974 were not allowed to participate in tourism but my passion for helping our people to develop Tourism made me look at everything which could help our cause and what better than historical sites which could be restored and used for marketing North Cyprus to the outside world.

    The Kumarcilar Han was owned by several rich people who were living all over the world so I set out and traced them in 8 different countries. I then bought their shares up to 75% and set out to restore it but some of the ground floor shops, despite the dilapidated condition of the building, were still being occupied either as stores or some as shops.  Now I had to take the people concerned to court to evict them but needless to say I had to compensate them to leave the building..

    It took me 35 years but with the help of the Turkish Embassy, and I thank them, I was able to restore this building and it is now helping my passion for Tourism by providing 37 families who have invested as tenants in the building and who are now making a living and encouraging tourists to come and visit this beautiful Han from all over the world

    Thank you Chris and Margaret for once again bringing this historical building through your cyprusscene website to the attention of our people and especially the governments of the past and those who made it difficult, or easy, for me to bring my dream to fruition.

    Thank you and God bless you all

    John Aziz Kent
    Honorary President
    Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers Association

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