Organised by the Girne Municipality and Ozanköy Mukhtar’s Office the festival is held to promote tourism, ensure the durability of carob production and encourage molasses consumption.
Many cultural and artistic events were offered during the 3 days of the festival. Concerts, folk dances, poetry recitals, and talks took place. Cypriot pastries, pies, desserts, and books were on sale. Labour-intensive, eye-staining handicrafts were on show. Tradesmen produced and sold molasses and carob must on site.
Present at the opening ceremony were President Ersin Tatar, Girne District Governor Sinan Güneş, Girne Mayor Nidai Gündördü, Ozanköy Mukhtar Mustafa Uzun, and Girne Municipality Council Members.
Making his speech while carob must was being served, Mustafa Uzun said the festival had been held since 2008 and offered his thanks to everyone who had contributed.
Nidai Gündördü, in turn, said they were working with heart and soul to conserve and protect the carob which he called the ‘fruit of the Mediterranean’. The festival was very important in enhancing the value of the carob.
Two years ago new efforts by the authorities had increased the price of a kilo of carobs from 3 to 7 TL. The opening price this season was 18 TL and it was now estimated that offers up to 21 TL by traders would be appropriate. It was essential to further increase the value attached to the tree and increase the potential of the carob. The Municipality had taken the decision to plant carob saplings in green belt areas.
“Ozanköy was space poet Osman Türkay’s village” Güngördü said. “We built a monument here in his memory and to help popularise him. We found out about the books he had published in Istanbul, had them reprinted and distributed to libraries”.
He also pointed out that the old name of the village was Kazafana but it was deliberately replaced with “Ozanköy” (Poet’s Village) in remembrance of the ‘poet’ Osman Türkay. These activities had also helped the festival to thrive.
Güngördü thanked all the traders for the stands they had put up, the folk dance teams and council members and staff of the Municipality for their efforts in organising the festival.
President Tatar said that the festival was organised to keep our culture and traditions alive and to promote carob production. He too was attached to Ozanköy which he described as a fine sentiment. There was a feeling of Turkishness in Ozanköy, there was history, the poet Osman Türkay and olives…
He said: “Türkay’s poems in his books are meaningful. They describe how far we have come in this country and its privileges. We need to take on the responsibility of our own industry in order to sustain the country’s economy. Carobs are among our exports. By protecting the trees and planting new saplings carob production will increase, which will serve the economy, our culture and nature”.
President Tatar who had already lent a hand to boil the traditional molasses must before the opening ceremony, toured the stands tasting the various produce made from carobs.
On the last day, the results of the best ‘molasses dessert’ competition were announced. Naile Soyel of the Municipality Health Branch gave a talk on the benefits of consuming molasses.
The festival came to an end with folk dance performances and concerts.
Source (Turkish): Girne Municipality