In the morning Gwen and I went to a fund raiser in Karsiyaka. Two ladies Dot and Helen are making great efforts to raise money for a couple in Karsiyaka whose home was severely damaged by the floods. Here is the story behind the couple (as supplied by Marion Stuart, thank you Marion):
“The first heavy storm of the season was a turning point in the lives of Ali Kemal and Aysha Karadag of Karsiyaka as the rain poured into their home, threatening the electric supply, and increasing the strain on the roof beams, several of which are already at breaking point.
So great was their fear that they rang Rami Akyus a friend to whom many in the village turn in times of need. Rami responded to their pleas and at 4a.m. brought them from their home and took them to the comfort and safety of his own.
Since then, the property has been cleared and goods stored in a three sided ‘shed’ awaiting a proper home. The property has been taped off by Lapta Belediye as unsafe, and the couple are now housed temporarily in a hut behind Rami’s home – a hut normally shared with his friend Tulgay Bukey, a London Cypriot, with whom he goes fishing for them to prepare for their fishing, store their catch and swop tales of ‘the one that got away’. This 32sq.m. building has an outside toilet and no proper washing facilities, although inside are full kitchen facilities and settees on which the couple sleep.
Together Rami and Tulgay as great community minded gentleman, decided they wanted to get a warm comfortable home for these two desperate people. The husband, Ali, has only one kidney and the wife Aysha has a congenital problem that means she is constantly falling over and needs medication. Consultation with the medical profession in Istanbul resulted in the statement ‘Nothing can be done surgically.’ Unfortunately the skull is pressing on the part of her brain which affects movement as a result of which she needs a constant carer. The state gives them 770tl a month ‘disability allowance’ but this has never been enough to affect any repairs on the home given to them by Ali’s father some twenty five years ago. The costs now would be nearer £100,000 to renovate this ‘wreck’ and equally there is no money to tear it down.
What Rami and Tulgay are now seeking is funds to purchase a prefabricated home to be erected adjacent the old building. Already they have an offer from Ashanlar Concrete to build a base free of charge, and other locals have offered their bulldozer and other equipment for use during the construction. As Rami said ‘We have had lots of offers for help, but we need the money for the ‘home’. We have approached the Government, the Kaymakan, the Belediye, various charities including the Mary Whitton Trust (a local charity) but so far we have no positive responses.”
With the onset of winter on the doorstep of their lives, Ali and Aysha are relying on the big hearted generosity of their neighbours and friends to help them.
Already Tulgay’s wife, Helen, with her friend Dot Rogers are selling goods at both Carpenters Friday Market and Saturday Lamboussa and intend to use all proceeds to help this desperate couple. “We are very happy to accept bric-a-brac for sale later, and we are also collecting prizes for a tombola we are going to run near Christmas, so if anyone can give us anything, please get in touch.”
‘Everyone needs a family’ said Rami, expressing care and concern that the couple can remain in the village which has been their lives and where Ali Kemal is known as ‘the local mascot.’!
The plea to the caring people of north Cyprus comes from Rami, Tulgay, Dot and Helen “Please if anyone can help in any way, even with suggestions (!), please contact us. We appreciate that there are many needs in many other places, but you only have to look at Aysha and see the joy in her eyes at what has been done for her already, to realise that she now deserves a better environment which will allow her and her husband to lead better lives in a community where they are loved.”
Contact numbers are Dot 0392 825 2079 and Helen 0392 825 2435 or see them at the markets.”
copyright Marion Stuart
The ladies provided coffee and cake for 5tl.
There was also a very reasonably priced bric a brac stall. Good luck ladies.