Dear readers, in this article I would like to tell you about one of the eminent citizens of Cyprus – Mr Erol Akcan. I had a chance to meet this person in Akdeniz village, famous for its historic places, magnificent sea shore and rural atmosphere.
It happened during one of our weekend trips to Akdeniz and its roundabouts. We decided to make a break on our long way and saw a café-shop with interesting name Akcan. «In Turkish it sounds like something white and innocent, as if meaning lucid and bright soul», – these associations were triggered in my mind as soon as I read the title of the shop. “Why not to check does this “cover name” correspond to the content or not?”, – I thought and entered the shop just like a person who opens the book being captivated by its title.
Later on I realized that this curiosity was a key to positive discoveries and happy impressions.
It came out that such a title was given not only to a simple gift shop. It was a real studio, where its owner, Mr Akcan, created marvelous works of applied art.
Most of these neat goods were made of clay and painted with bright colors – vivid like the colors of Cyprus. I liked the unusual design of these objects – folklore motives of pictures reflected the specific character of their “place of birth” – Akdeniz village. Mostly there were depicted interesting scenes of local life and images of nature. Some figures were hanging under the ceiling – they were light and colorful. It turned out that these were pumpkins. They were cleaned from pulp and dried beforehand, and their intricate forms were then well adorned with various colors and patterns. Sometimes small holes are made in these figures, and a bulb is placed inside. Thus pumpkin can be transformed into Moroccan lamp!
We explored the interior of the shop and café attentively and noticed a book about Akdeniz on one of the shelves. The author was the owner himself – Mr Akcan. “Do you also write books?” – we asked. “Yes, sometimes I do”, – he replied modestly.
Book sparked an obvious interest by its content as well as the origin. It is such a rare sight – to meet an author of the book, not even stirring a step from the bookshelf. And, what`s more unusual, to meet writer from Cyprus. As citizens of this island, my family and me were happy to make acquaintance with noble representative of native population and expressed our honor to Erol Akcan, writer and local master of arts and craft.
However we were not the only people who became imbued with sympathy to this person: a framed picture hanged near the bookshelf – “it is the present from students of European University”, explained us Erol Akcan. Moment of joy was commemorated on the picture: students sitting together with Erol Akcan, at the table with some dainties. From the text, accompanying the picture, we clarified that students were volunteers, taking part in charitable project dedicated to protection of turtles in 2014.
The book, written by Erol Akcan, is devoted to the history of Akdeniz village and its citizens. It is based on author`s research of life chronicles of different families that have been residing in Akdeniz for many years and presents a unique compilation of biographic facts and photo-materials.
Besides being a truly talented man, Mr Akcan can be called an easy person to deal with. Welcoming in communication, charismatic and modest by his nature, he told about the work, he was so passionate about, and served us black tea with sugar and milk. The very taste of the tea was unforgettable– maybe, the water used for it was unusual, or the atmosphere around us positively influenced the perception of reality.
Our talk with Mr Akcan reminded me of the book by famous writer Kayros O`Hara, where the “Secrets of Longevity and Mysteries of Immortality” are revealed. It gives many useful recommendations on revitalization and rejuvenation of the organism, tells about healing practices and various scientific theories on this topic, including the research of Chinese scientists. They suppose that “deteriorations in cerebrum functioning cause premature aging”. While constant intellectual activity contributes to longevity and healthy life. In Kayros O`Hara`s book it was also said that “any creative activity intensifies development of brain, its neuron connections”. Having met such an outstanding person as Erol Akcan, I was again convinced in miraculous power of creative and intellectual work.
I think that positive mindset and this creative activity, namely, do help Erol Bey to stay in physical health and invigorate him with good spirit. I would like to wish him many years of creative life and thank for the conservation of historical heritage of Akdeniz village.
Interestingly, the word “souvenir” means “impression” in French. To my mind, the souvenirs-shop of Mr Akcan is one big impression, warm and memorable. And what awaits you inside is the collection of marvelous works of art and décor, which may become bright impressions from the trip to the village of Akdeniz. Whereas acquaintance with such person as the writer Erol Bey will undoubtedly inspire you to further exploration and creative cognition of this world.
Just as the part reflects the whole, so the island of Cyprus embodies the limitless field of impressions. Indeed, our blessed island contains an entire Universe of marvels and enchanting discoveries!
by Taliya Khafizou