By Margaret Sheard ….
Having heard news of a venture by 2 Australian Cypriot friends, Yalçın Adal (Turkish Cypriot) and Stavros Protz (Greek Cypriot) and we wanted to find out more so we made contact with the parents of Yalçın and had a long chat about themselves, their son and his friend.
Yalçın left Cyprus and moved to Melbourne in Australia with his parents and 2 siblings. Halil and Yűksel told us of a visit to Cyprus by Yalçın in 1993 when he did a cycling tour of Cyprus and some European countries. At that time the border between the north and south of Cyprus was closed and he was so unhappy about this and the fact that the two communities were divided with no free travel between them.
The current walk, which will be for 16 days starting on 21st March, was the brainchild of Yalçın and when his friend Stavros learned of it he said he would like to accompany Yalçın on this epic journey of discovery and for peace. There will be 5 other people joining them on the walk – English, Turkish and Greek, and an Indian friend who is their film maker. Yalçın’s wife Amanda will also join him on the last leg to walk with him. Stavros’s wife, Svetlana, will also join them on the final day when they arrive at Aphrodite’s Rocks which is dedicated to their partners.
Following is some of the information from their website.
This is about 2 friends, Yalçın and Stavros and their Journey into Cyprus. A war on the island of Cyprus over 40 years ago says they should be divided because of their Turkish and Greek Cypriot backgrounds. Instead they believe in a free and united Cyprus with no borders.
They plan to walk from East Cyprus to West Cyprus in 16 Days. Their walk is not meant to be easy, as they know finding a solution for Cyprus isn’t either. They plan to walk between 20km to 30km a day, over rugged terrain, steep mountains and finish no matter what the obstacles.
Throughout the journey they will explore the legend of the 101st Window of the Queen (Regina) of Cyprus. The legend says if you find this window and look through it, you will see paradise. You can then call out to paradise and ask for whatever your heart desires.
The walk across Cyprus will celebrate humanity and the cultural diversity of all people on the island. Looking through the 101st window of Regina we want to see the Paradise of Cyprus and share this with the world.
Yalçın – “I was inspired to take this route after reading Colin Thubron’s Journey into Cyprus – a 600 mile trek on foot around Cyprus, in the last year of peace (1972). Colin Thubron intertwines myths including the Houses of Regina, characters, history, places, architecture – calling that period of his walk ‘the islands halcyon time’. I’m hopeful the best days of Cyprus are still ahead of it and I invited my friend Stavros to join me to re-create our own journey. When Stavros said he was thinking of doing a similar walk, I felt this is meant to be”.
Stavros – “I love adventure, I love nature and I love my home country of Cyprus which has been daunted by over half a century over a senseless conflict. Inspired by a walk of two friends of mine, Peter Walker and Scott Collins, who walked from Byron Bay to Brisbane as a demonstration to get children out of offshore Australian detention centres, I wanted to do a similar walk for peace in Cyprus.
When Yalçın invited me to join him I said yes before giving it a good thought. I didn’t think I would do the walk in the near future, I couldn’t think of anyone that would be up for it so when Yalçın called I thought – what a moment of synchronicity”.
Why we are doing the walk together. We want a United Cyprus just like our friendship. To us, our friendship is simple, there is NO divide.
Cyprus is divided into a Turkish North and Greek South. We see no reason why it should be like this. We belong to the same island. We want the next generation to see and feel the same way we do. There is no reason for this conflict to continue.
We want to create a film so we can share the paradise of Cyprus, its culture and people, the mountains, countryside, stories and myths of the Queen, Regina.
We will walk to raise awareness, as we wish to see Cyprus with no division and bring a fresh forward looking and positive view to resolve this frozen conflict.
We want to celebrate humanity and cultural diversity of all people on the island of Cyprus. We want to bring hope to the next generation of Cypriots and this is possible.
Making a film will help us to reach and connect to millions of people across the world with the universal message of: “regardless of age, colour, ethnicity, gender and religion we will all be able to live freely”.
Follow us on our walk
Day 1 – March 21st Apostolos Andreas to Dipkarpaz 28.1km
Day 2 – March 22nd Dipkarpaz to Avtepe to Ayios Symeon 26.0 km
Day 3 – March 23rd Avtepe to Balalan / Platanissos 18.1 km
Day 4 – March 24th Balalan to Kantara 27.4 km
Day 5 – March 25th Kantara to Tatlisu 26.8 km
Day 6 – March 26th Tatlisu to Gornec 29.6 km
Day 7 – March 27th Gornec to BuffoVento 22.2 km
Day 8 – March 28th BuffoVento to St.Hilarion 23.3 km
Day 9 – March 29th St Hilarion to Lefkosia 23.3 km
Day 10 – March 30th Rest Day in Nicosia / Lefkosia
Day 11 – March 31st Lekfosia to Palaiometocho 23.3 km
Day 12 – April 1st Palaiometocho to Flasou 34.7 km
Day 13 – April 2nd Flasou to Pano Amiantos 20.1 km
Day 14 – April 3rd Pano Amiontes to Platres 15.8 km
Day 15 – April 4th Pano Platres to Salamiou 23.1km
Day 16 – April 5th Salamiou to Aphrodites Rocks 33.0 km
Walk with us on this journey of friendship. Watch the video to see where we will be walking.
Yalçın and Stavros are not looking for any Government or Ministry funding but if you would like to make a personal donation to support their journey this can be done by clicking here