December 10, 2023

By Margaret Sheard ….

Due to Chris Elliott being hospitalised, I took his place following the invitation of Prime Minister Ersin Tatar to attend the launch of the English version his book entitled “I Never Gave Up”.

The event was held on Sunday 6th September at 7pm at the Pia Bella Hotel in Girne and was attended by many British expatriates on a warm evening in the outside area of the hotel.

The book was originally written in Turkish by Ferhat Atik and Stephen Day was responsible for the translation into English which is of great importance for English speakers to be able to read Mr Tatar’s account of his life from an early age through all of the troubles experienced in Cyprus.

Stephen Day opened the event and welcomed Prime Minister Tatar and thanked everyone for attending.  He asked Ferhat Atik to stand up and take a bow as the original author of the story.

Prime Minister Ersin Tatar then gave a speech and said he was honoured to be with everyone attending and thanked Stephen Day for his work on the English translation of his book.   He continued with some information about his life and his memories of Cyprus as a child, which is the subject of the book. 

Minister Tatar continued with his feelings about the TRNC and said this needs to be based on realities, it is not possible for reunification.  The guarantorship of Turkey is very important, as is the sharing of prosperity of the island.  The way forward is 2 States living side by side.  Embargoes need to be lifted as we have every right to be included in the international community.

He added that the expatriate community is cherished and the book in English is for them, and he hopes they will continue living together in this beautiful part of the island and spend the rest of their lives here.  He encouraged everyone to read the book and pass on the message.

On the subject of citizenship Mr Tatar said that this is based on the number of years living in the TRNC and as a property owner etc.

The book was free to those present and Minister Tatar spent a long period of time signing his book for those attending, who were asked to observe social distancing for this purpose.   I had a book signed for Chris which he is now in the process of reading in his hospital bed.

When the book signing was completed, there was a surprise birthday cake for Ersin Tatar whose birthday was the following day – 7th September.  He was joined by his wife and daughter, which made it a very happy occasion.

There were many familiar faces at the book launch so it was nice to be able to catch up with some old friends.  A very nice evening spent in lovely surroundings and with nice people.  I am looking forward to reading the Prime Minister’s book myself and will undoubtedly write a book review.

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