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Culture and Grape Festivals

Mehmetcik, North Cyprus

Mehmetcik, still often called by its old name, Galateia, is found at the start of the Karpaz Peninsula, around 20 Km north east of Iskele. Because of its location, it played a key strategic role in the inter-communal fighting  between 1963 and 1974. It is, however, one of the few Turkish Cypriot villages that didn't see any sort of migration to other areas of the island.

The area round here is renowned for its grapes, and nearly 50 years ago the village started the Mehmetcik Grape festival. The original idea was to provide shopping opportunities for the villagers, but has now developed into a celebration of all things grape. Festival activities usually include such things as cooking with grapes and wine making, along with various symposiums.

The festival brings the economic and cultural importance of the grapes and vineyards of the district to the fore and to promote viticulture.

In the early days, the festival included cultural activities, but over the years, this element gradually reduced. In 2007, however the decision was made to re-introduce this cultural element as a separate festival to be held immediately before the Grape Festival.