No, not an incorrect spelling of Ramadan which is the term most of us will recognise! Unfortunately we have not really been given an explanation of why it’s called Ramazan in North Cyprus – it just is! The month of fasting for all practising Muslims who choose to follow this religious event will culminate in family gatherings, visiting the graves of love ones past and generally having a few days holiday to get the body and mind back to its previous state. [Read more...]
We don’t mean to be pushy but we will say that you cannot come to North Cyprus and not partake of some traditional Turkish Cypriot meze! Meze is the mainstay of traditional cuisine in North Cyprus, and basically means appetisers or starters. More often than not, there is so much of it that depending on your own appetite, you may not require a main course!
Meze are served in various forms and variations all over the Middle East and certainly the Turkish Cypriot variety have influences which may be recognisable if you have ever eaten meze in another country. However, there are also some which are definitely unique to this part of the world. You will also find that depending on the time of year, the offerings will differ slightly due to the seasonal produce on offer, which is nice as you will know that everything is fresh to the table. [Read more...]
Cyprus has been an island invaded and inhabited by many different nations and people throughout its history, and as a result Cypriot cuisine owes a great deal to the external influences that have directly affected it.
Unsurprisingly most of the traditional food and drink in North Cyprus nowadays is very similar to mainland Turkish cuisine, though more modern European influences are now beginning to become apparent, as are Asian influences. You can also find traces of tradition in the food and drink of Northern Cyprus today from as far away as the Balkans and Northern Africa.
As North Cyprus is predominantly a Muslim population, there are certain religious holidays that are observed, such as Ramazan or Ramadan. This is a month of fasting followed by celebrations described for Christian understanding as the Muslim equivalent of Christmas. There are also dates in the calendar that pay tribute to landmark historical events such as the TRNC’s declaration of independence.
North Cyprus has quite a large festival scene with events taking place almost all year round – apart from during the short winter months. In terms of culture and festivities, it’s fair to say that North Cyprus is on the international stage and that it boasts some unique and stunning musical venues such as the Bellapais Monastery, Kyrenia Castle and the Salamis Amphitheatre.
These venues not only draw the crowds, they draw some significant names as well, and are famous for hosting both classical and modern music events. Prominent musicians take part in many of these events, and famous Turkish Cypriot national Turgay Hilmi, who himself is an artist of international fame, features heavily in the promotion of these events.
Although North Cyprus is a completely secular state, with therefore no official religion, it is predominantly populated by people of the Islamic faith. However, there are other religions and ethnic groups which are active on the island, and are descendents from the various cultures that make North Cyprus such a mixed and special place to be.
Islam in Cypruswas introduced when Uthmanthe 3rd Caliphconquered Cyprus in 649. Turkish Muslims then settled in Cyprus during the Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878. The Ottoman Empire gave land grants to its soldiers under the condition that they and their families would stay there permanently. [Read more...]