Tervetuloa is always 'welcome!'
by Marion Stuart
Fourteen years have fled by since Arif Berhas and his family opened up the Alsancak based 'Tervetuloa' Restaurant, hotel and bar - and every day of those fourteen years one is always welcome - it is inescapable, as the word 'Tervetuloa' means 'Welcome' in Finnish.
That welcome has never weakened, and although sadly Arif was snatched away from life due to an unexpected heart attack, the family have continued to offer a very warm welcome, with Mother in the kitchen where she cooks the food and in particular the home made mezes which can be different every day, and daughter Afet works hard to fulfil her father's dream.
The family were not always in the hospitality business, for Arif, who originally came from Paphos, pursued the business of a builder for many years, until he was able to build the restaurant and hotel behind what was a shop - such shop now being the bar at the road frontage, which along with the gardens has undergone a refurbishment and updating, which is another part of fulfilling the Berhas dream.
A further part of that dream is becoming a reality as the establishment is now part of the agritourism move and they grow their own vegetables and fruit to give all their customers that experience of 'home grown' with homemade products. And, as yet unfulfilled part of the dream is the swimming pool, is still on the cards, and as Afet says " I want to make all of father's dreams come true." and one feels as she says it, that it will all happen, for all the family work together to run this very popular place, which is not only a fine dining experience but where one can have that special party, anniversary, wedding, and in fact any function that will make the guests to Tervetuloa feel that their dreams have come true as well.
The renovation of the garden area has brought other changes too. One can now book in for breakfast, both English and Turkish is available for only 15tl, and this is in the new breakfast and lunch menu, where cod and chips, chicken shish and salads are available. They have new times as well, namely 8a.m. to noon for breakfast, noon to five open for lunch, and then from 6 until late, it is time for dinner. Most people dining at Tervetuloa have but one complaint! And that is that there is almost too much food, - but in spite of those complaints the plates all seem to be licked clean - such is the quality of mother's cooking.
The small hotel is part of the building, and contains twelve rooms, with free wi-fi, and costs a mere 100tl per room for two persons and is ideal for those people who have visiting relatives and not enough space to house them. The Tervetuloa welcome will make anyone feel they are indeed part of a family when they stay there.
The fact that the same staff are there year after year, shows how this is a close knit team who provide friendly service all year round to those who explore the welcome of a restaurant whose name is unpronounceable to many. Whether one can pronounce it or not, one thing is certain, for as Afet says "Next year all my father's dreams will come true!"
More information, and bookings for the restaurant or hotel can be made to 0533 863 2394, or for the restaurant alone on 0392 821 1220.
Near East, nearer to success and bright future.
Nearly three hundred people crowded onto the pavement outside the new branch of the Near East Bank in Kyrenia, enjoying canapés, drinks and conversation as they awaited the arrival of President Eroglu, who was to be one of the eight men representing the Near East group cutting the ribbon hailing this new premises open for business.
This one was one of those rare 'openings' which was a real opening, as no business trading had taken place and this was due to happen in the morning of the 10th July. When the welcome speeches had been made, including speakers Dr.Suat Gunsel, Chairman of the Board, and the ribbon cut, the President entered the premises, followed by many of the curious to see the inside of this latest branch.
A spokesman for the bank stated "This is necessary. Our other branch is just too small" which shows the success of this bank, which during its seventeen year history has grown into one of the most important financial institutions in the TRNC, serving the personal and business banking needs of many.
The new branch which stands next to the latest high rise development (all of which have been sold) has Inan Barlas as Manager - a lady who has a proven record in the banking world, and a further five members of staff, and whilst it is expected that the bulk of the work of the bank might be connected with the business world rather than private customers, it is hoped that in the future, special facilities will be provided for ex pats.
The evening was not just about the bank, as representatives from the Near East University and Near East Hospital attended, gave speeches and helped to cut the ribbon. Among those present were representatives of government past and present, bank staff, members of the public many of whom had received a personal telephone call inviting them to share in this special moment in the bank which now employs over two hundred people and which in the years 2011 and 2012 was the fastest growing local bank with assets over three hundred million Turkish Lira.
It was stated that the Bank is in a very strong position, and that banking in Northern Cyprus was also in a strong position and should there be any move to take on the Euro then it was stated that the bank would cope. Maybe changes are afoot due to the forthcoming election in Turkey, and the talks here which could culminate in North Cyprus being part of the E.U. but the speeches given at the opening of the Bank were full of optimism and promises of a bright future.