By Heidi Trautmann
What is Pulya, I had asked myself last year when I heard about this festival? Pulya is a bird the meat of which is said to be very tasty. Already in the Middle Ages the birds were caught and delivered to bird-eaters in Italy; now, that it is nearly extinct, we make a festival to honour it or to celebrate the memory of it.
Anyway, I went there this year together with my friend Günay Güzelgün, who lives in Iskele, especially for the caricaturists who are getting together here for the occasion, caricaturists from Turkey, Bulgaria and Rumania were invited by the Cypriot Turkish association. This year Arif Albayrak, obstretician, MP, poet, musician and cartoonist, organized the meeting and the 5-day-workshop. At the end there will be the Pulya award in gold, silver and bronze for the best submissions. At the end of the Caricature Festival the organizer Dr. Arif Albayrak has promised to send me the winner parade.
I met Musa Kayra there, taking photos for the Yeni Akrep Cartoon Magazine and their archive; there was Sevcan Çerkez, not with her life size figures but sketching along whoever sat in front of her; there was Mustafa Tozakı, his cartoons easy to be recognized and Serkan Sürek, teacher in Famagusta, - so far these were the Cypriot Turkish artists, and then the visiting artists who had hardly time to have a look around themselves, their catching the similarity of the vis-à-vis in a funny way was very much in demand. . It was a festive atmosphere with all the fun fair noise around us.
In the exhibition hall itself was a huge collection of old photographs displayed which gave us all a lot of fun. You can find the collection displayed in the 2-monthly magazine ‘Entellektüel’. Some art work and handicraft by local artists were also showcased.
And whom did I meet outside the exhibition hall with a stand? Nahide from Işık Bookstore in Lefkosa, “The cool evening air will make people look at books! I come here every night with my books.”
I had not expected the festival to be so big with thousands of people coming from all over the island, also many foreign tourists enjoying one of the many Döner Kebabs. For the young people enough fun was to be had, a Giant Wheel and this electrified go cart thing I still remember from my childhood.
The festival will still run until August 21 with various programmes – see my website under cultural events.
Amendment 18.08.2011: Yesterday evening the winners of the Caricature Festival were announced as follows:
1-Ahmet Aykanat – Golden Pulya Award
2-A- George Licurici, Romania – Silver Pulya Award
2-B- Ercan Akyol, Turkey – Silver Pulya Award
3-A- Trayko Popov. Bulgaria – Bronze Pulya Award
3-B- Turgay Karadağ, Turkey – Bronze Pulya Award
4-Nicoleta Ionescu, Romania - Youngest Cartoonist Women
5-Serkan Sürek, North Cyprus – Youngest Cartonist Men
6-Digital Work Cartoonist – Saadet Demir Yalçın, Turkey
7-Peace for Pulya – Sevcan Çerkez, North Cyprus
8-Festival Maestro – Mustafa Tozakı, North Cyprus