May 31, 2023


By Roland Eyerich ….

The Soulist Coffee and Music House presented the 1st Christmas market of this kind in Alsancak/Karavas (North Cyprus) and it was a big success.

In October, Alper Cengiz was still in Germany with the stations Frankfurt, Koblenz, Bonn and Düsseldorf.  When he came back to Cyprus Alper said: “Hey Roland let’s organize a Christmas market with music here in front of the Soulist”. A Christmas market with the traditional “Weihnachtsmarktständen“ – Christmas market stalls.

The Alsancak Belediye provided stalls for the Christmas market, but these were only stalls. These aluminum stands had to be decorated. Traders, tarpaulins, electronics, Christmas decorations etc.  Everything our own work and last but not least the stands have to be filled and the music program has to be organized.

Then came the bad weather with storms and heavy rain in the Lapta, Alsancak and Girne regions. Before the official date for opening the Christmas Market the rain stopped and the team “Alper” had 2 days to start their work. Incredible … On the 21st December we could finally work outside again …. In 1½ days, everything was done without a break, without sleep and the team around Alper Cengiz had conjured up this Christmas market with the stalls. The “Heinzelmännchen from Cologne” came here to help and on 22nd of December at nearly 6am it was finished, On Thursday still aluminium stands and on Saturday, the 22nd of December at 10am, the first traders were able to move into their stalls and the Christmas market could start on time at 12 noon.

8 typical Christmas stalls offered various Cypriot specialties and even German mulled wine and waffles were available.

Charity was also the focus of this Christmas market

  • Kibris Hayvan Haklari Dermigi (Animals)
  • TULIPS Help Those with Cancer Association
  • Elele Pre-School Educational Centre formed by preventing Social Risks “in order to spend for those children`s needs and to help build their dreamship“

And then the first small highlight of the day: 11-year-old Ada Baykurt performed in front of the Soulist – Piano for Donation for Children (SOS Village Lefkosa) and at 16:30 there was the first musical highlight of the day on stage in The Soulist.  This was The Alight House Gospel Choir – The choir of Zion Gate City Church had its appearance.

The choir consists of people from different nationalities across Africa. It is not only the Choir who enraptured the audience this evening, the Alight House band was also able to convince.

They performed gospel classics and special Christmas songs, with a special vocal performance from Christine Chinem Okpara.

The full packed audience in The Soulist enjoyed it very much. Now it was already dark and the colourful lights of the Christmas market created a great atmosphere.

And in the evening the next highlight: Alper Cengiz & Friends (Blues & Rock & Soul) with Special Guests: Dean Bridges bass, Ed Sezener guitar, Cumhur on Sax.

Hey that was awesome “Hammer” – strong performance of the band that grew as a team beyond itself …. Alper was unstoppable, euphoric with the success of the first Christmas market day, and Ed Sezener who brilliantly supported him, the rhythm section that worked well with Arda Baykurt and Dean Bridges and then Cumhur on the saxophone, who literally grew beyond himself. … really made the other boys fire, and they took into their performance.

With this great performance the first day came to an end.

The second day musically had two highlights with the acoustics duo Ali + Hüseyn and the Yeseminler String Quartet. The afternoon belonged to the young Cypriot musicians, the Acoustic duo Ali + Hüseyin. Ali Çürükoğlu (Guitar, Vocals) + Hüseyin Kambur (Keyboard) presented a program of popular pop and rock songs.

A great performance from these young musicians who brought their performance harmoniously into the Christmas market idea.

At the end of the evening and also the finale of the 2-day Soulist Christmas Market Event, classical music was announced.

The Yaseminler String Quartet hosted 4 ladies who celebrated classical music “literally”. High Class

The Yasmin is one of the Flowers of Cyprus and the 4 Ladies, who named the quartet after this flower blossomed with their performance.

Ayse Karaoğlan – Violin, Miray Çakır – Violin, Sinem Sadrazam – Viola, Pınar Duruk Bayraktar – Cello

In the concert was Mozarts Divertimento – Corelli Concerto Grosso No 8 – Händel Arrival of the Queen of Sheba and Brahms Hungarian dances. They celebrated classical music in perfection – . “4 Yasemin of Cyprus on Strings“. It was the beautiful special Christmas event of the year!

Thanks to everyone who helped design the Soulist Christmas Market. Thanks to the musicians and also thanks to Alsancak Belediye for their support. Thanks also to all visitors who came to this Christmas market. The success of the Christmas market is your success.

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