Girne Municipality and Ozankoy Mukhtar organised the 11th Ozankoy Pekmez Festival which began on Friday 30th August.
Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, Girne District Governor Sinan Güneş, Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü, some MPs and citizens attended the opening of the festival. Following the speeches and the drinking of molasses, the 11th Ozankoy Molasses Festival was opened. The second evening of the festival there was a Molasses Desserts contest and awards ceremony, a presentation about the health benefits of Molasses, Ipek Amber Concert, Çatalköy Municipality Folk Dance and the evening ended with the Estrellas Latinas concert.
Speaking at the opening of the festival, the Mukhtar of Ozankoy, Mustafa Uzun, said that olive, carob and molasses production had decreased, but it had shown an increase with the festival in Ozankoy. Uzun stated that due to insufficient carob trees producers in the region had to buy external carob. Pointing out the importance of the reproduction of the carob trees, which are the symbol and future of the town, he noted that they will distribute carob saplings this year, as last year. Uzun thanked everyone, especially the Girne Municipality for cooperation in arranging for the festival to be held.
Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü, said that with the festival being held in cooperation with the Municipality from 2008, the awareness of carob trees and molasses had increased. Güngördü, also said that as a municipality, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, in green areas in the town, children’s playgrounds and parks, work has been carried out with the planting of carob saplings.
He noted that the festivals, along with the preservation of Turkish Cypriot culture and traditions, also brought together foreign citizens settling in Northern Cyprus and living in different parts of the country. Güngördü emphasised that it is important to raise generations which are a culture of tolerance, environmental protection and awareness and protection and care for animals.
Prime Minister Ersin Tatar stated that Beylerbeyi and Ozanköy are among the most beautiful parts of the TRNC, and pointed out the importance of preserving the environment, the Turkish Cypriot culture, traditions and living with the people who have settled here. Girne Belediyesi, municipal services have been very successful with work carried out, Tatar said, and he congratulated the Girne District Governor and Ozankoy Mukhtarligi for their work.
Tatar said that it is gratifying that participation in such festivals in the region is intense and that it is of great importance to protect the people, producers, traditions and culture of the region.
In his speech Prime Minister Tatar stated that the water brought from Turkey is allowing the TRNC infrastructure to gain wealth once again and with the rise of the water level, a green environment will be found and will develop the production of agriculture. Tatar said that the people living in the country would find even more value and that the country would develop even further.
The Ozankoy Pekmez Festival, which was held for the 11th time this year, hosted many cultural and artistic events for 3 days.
On the second day of the festival, there was a concert by The Healers, Orak Culture Art and Education Center Kozan Group Folk Dance Show, Poet Osman Türkay’s poems, and Dilara Ferit & Adrenal concert took place.
On the last day of the festival, there was a performance by Çatalköy Municipality Folk Dance Team and the day ended with a concert by Kurtalan Ekspres, Turkey’s legendary group .
A Molasses Sweets Competition was held. Naile Soyel, the head of Girne Municipality Health Branch, made a presentation on “The health benefits of molasses”. The festival also held a “Molasses Sweets Competition”. There were 9 products in the competition. Nesil Nacisoy came first with Molasses Mixed Dessert Plate, Fatos Dümencibaşı with Tel Kadayifli Molasses came second and Zekiye Paşa with Molasses Mixed came third.
Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü in his speech, at the closing of the festival, said that the objectives of organising the festival was to draw attention to the health benefits of carob and molasses, to produce economic value of the products and to promote the village of Ozankoy. At the end of the festival Nidai Güngördü wished love and peace to everyone.