March 28, 2023

The Festival was organised with the cooperation of the Girne Municipality, the Beylerbeyi Mukhtar Authority and the Green Peace Movement. It took place at Beylerbeyi Village and was attended by President Ersin Tatar.

Speaking at the opening ceremony General Secretary of the Green Peace Movement,Doğan Sahir, said that societies could only survive by their ability to live in harmony with nature, by preserving their culture, traditions, values ​​and by their industry. It was with these goals in mind that the Cyprus Silk Cocoon Festival was brought to life. They would endeavour to get the cultural riches introduced at the festival to be included in the world heritage list. He pointed to the importance of keeping cultural traditions of a country and its values alive and globally promoting it.

Beylerbeyi Mukhtar, Niyazi Engin said silk craftsmanship was a significant part of Cypriot culture and should be encouraged. The different stages of the craft from breeding the silkworms to transforming the silk to be worked by hand was demonstrated at the various stands. Their aim was to attract tourists also to the festival and help introduce them to this Cypriot culture.  

Girne Mayor, Nidai Güngördü, said that they were delighted to organize the 17th of these festivals. By increasing the number of mulberry trees and protecting them, silkworm breeding and the cocoon industry would be kept alive and would flourish. Being an important part of the Cypriot culture it would thus be conserved for future generations. Their aims were to increase the awareness of this old cottage industry indigenous to Cyprus, to improve on its presentation to the tourists and also to put Beylerbeyi Village on the map. Güngördü thanked everyone who had contributed to organising the festival and congratulated the Ramadan Bairam of the Islamic world.

In his speech, President Ersin Tatar praised the Green Peace Movement, Beylerbeyi Mukhtar Authority and Girne Municipality, for reviving the festival and said silk and cocoon products were one of the most important favourites ​​of Turkish Cypriot culture. The message to the world was that despite all the difficulties cultural values ​​and traditions would be kept alive in the TRNC. The Republic would continue to exist with its culture, civilisation, hospitable people, historic natural riches and products like the silk cocoons being displayed on the stands. These treasures meant the country had a huge touristic potential.

After the opening speeches, there was a performance by the Folk Dance Group of Girne Municipality and a concert by Melek Erdil and İbrahim Çetiner.

There was a presentation on  “The Sustainability of Local Handicrafts and the Role of Silk Cocoon Handcrafts”. Girne Young Art Lovers’ Folk Dance Association performed a show and Serdar Kavaz gave a concert. These activities were also made available on social media.

On the last day of the festival, there were further folk dance performances and cocoon handicraft workshops. A presentation on “People Who Serve in the Local Cyprus Handicraft Industry and its Culture” was available on social media. At the venue, there was another presentation on “Life History of the Mulberry Tree”. Afterwards, in the final concert of the festival Yağmur Özerem and Serhan Candaş took to the stage.

Source (Turkish): Girne Municipality

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