Two villages will host “eco-days” today, to promote Turkish Cypriot culture and the sale of traditional produce and handicrafts.
Çamlıbel Eco-Day and Bağlıköy Eco-Tourism Festival both promise an authentic taste of local life and cuisine.
The Çamlıbel event, in the village square from 10am and backed by 9,000 euros of EU funding, is organised by Çamlıbel District Development and Living Association (Çam-Sev) and Lapta Municipality.
Çam-Sev chairman Adıgüzel Akdeniz said “The theme this year will again be the highly nutritious Ferula (Gavcar) mushroom, which is mostly found in the North. It grows up to two metres in height and blossoms with yellow flowers.”
A highlight of the day will be the official opening of the Çamlıbel Cultural Centre and Ethnography Museum at 11.30am following its Turkish Embassy-funded restoration. It features more than 100 artefacts displaying the lifestyle of Turkish Cypriots in a 300m2 space.
“This year we are having a new concept, whereby for the first time dozens of stands will be made of wood rather than metal and selling traditional kleftiko and şeftali kebabs, along with sweets, pastries and handicrafts.
“People will also be able to visit olive trees, some of which are 700 years old, visit Pigades open-air temple and St Pan teleimon Monastery.”
There will be folk dance shows throughout the day and group Reference will put on a concert at noon, with the SOS band performing at 3pm.
Bağlıköy Eco-Tourism Festival will also begin at 10am in the village square, and organisers said there would be stands selling food, along with others offering traditional foods, sweets and handicrafts. Among a range of entertainment and activities will be a walk to a cave east of the village which is home to a species of large bat and is usually off-limits to protect the creatures.
It will also be possible to visit a water source, swamped by undergrowth until recently, which was built by Colonial-era engineers in 1914 and used by villagers to launder clothes until about 1960.