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EVELYN KOPP

Yazan: Ayça Olcaytu İşçen
Ağustos 2004

A CAPPADOCIA PASSIONATE IN UÇHİSAR: EVELYN KOPP

We meet at a shop, in Uçhisar square, while walking around with a book named “Uçhisar Unfolding-The Many Faces of a Cappadocian Village”. It distinguished itself from all known Cappadocia books. In the introduction, Evelyn KOPP said: “I am proud to say that all the stories, legends and general information included in this book were told to me by the people of Uçhisar themselves… Stories written by their lives…” From the short conversation we had with the shopkeeper, we found out that Evelyn KOPP owned a house in Uçhisar hence our interest grew bigger. We wanted to know the lady coming here from Germany; performing researches on Cappadocia’s history, nature, traditions and tales, gathering this data in a book hence creating such a rare source for us. We also wanted to tell her just how touchy this made us feels. We got to her with the help of Mr. Faruk KUMAŞ; the owner of Galary Faruk, and were so lucky that she was at home and accepted to see us. They welcomed us in their house that she and her husband Reinhard created in four years, out of ruins. They were very warm and excited. We had a very pleasant chat with Evelyn and Reinhard KOPP couple. We also had the chance to see their amazingly well worked on, museum like house which could set an example to the houses that are be restored in the region, as to keep to the environmental origins. We had to leave the house of this hospital couple because we had a meeting with the Minister of Uçhisar; Mr. Mustafa ZÜHAL but doing so we were still thinking of the lovely coffee Reinhard had made for us. As we got in our car, Evelyn said, “ next time inşallah (meaning with the permission of God)”

Cappadocia: We know that you have not come here to write a book. How did you come up with this idea?
E. Kopp: Actually it all started with an amulet! Meaning; my husband works at the İstanbul airport, in USAŞ Company. We have been in Turkey for ten years. As soon as I got here, I learned Turkish then started reading and discovering İstanbul. İstanbul is a city full of history. On my way out, my husband was always asking me where I was going, but not even I knew where I was going. I used to start from one place and with the inspiration I got from there, I used to wonder off to other places and finish my tour. We had come to Cappadocia for our vacation, during our first year in Turkey and I fell in love with this place. We spent every vacation in Cappadocia and sometimes we used to come twice a year. Then at year 2000, we saw a house in Uçhisar, bought it and started to restore it. During the restoration works, we found a couple of amulets. I asked the neighbors to find out what they were. Every explanation I got, brought up other questions in my mind hence I started to study the history of Cappadocia, local traditions and started to talk to people. Then came note taking, writing stage and this is how this book came out. In my book, I have not only put specific information about Uçhisar but have also written about wedding, circumcise which are events that can be seen all around Cappadocia.  
Cappadocia: What method did you follow in forming your book? What are the difficulties you have faced?
E. Kopp: At the stage of forming the book I had hesitations about carrying on or not, but because of all that I have learned here, I decided to go on. I have searched for the simplest things for a month. I got tired but did not give up. Every detail I learned got me more curious, things that were not important, started to become a matter of research. My assistant Mustafa was my guide; we went everywhere together. I asked for help, from the previous minister of Uçhisar. One day he gathered all the people over 80 years old in a café. After getting acquainted, I visited each one in their homes, observed their lifestyle and asked them all that I was interested in. At first they were asking “dear girl, why do you want to learn about these?”, but in time I managed to get them interested too. After getting interested, they started to help me even more and this is how this book is formed.
Cappadocia: Are you planning to do any other studies about this region? For example, are you thinking of turning your home into a restaurant or a hotel?
E. Kopp: Definitely not. Everyone thinks that we would do that, because the idea of buying these houses is generally to turn it into an establishment. But our house in Uçhisar means a lot to us. This is the house we live and breathe in.
Cappadocia: Have any of your friends been influenced by the things you have seen and lived in Uçhisar and moved here?
E. Kopp: Many of our friends have come to İstanbul. They also like Cappadocia. It is difficult for the Germans because Antalya is very important for them. Even if they come to Cappadocia they only stay for 2 or 3 days and go back, but everyone who comes here love it. Reinhard’s relatives came here and were very affected by our house and here. There are those who would like to move here but this is not possible for everyone because the live here is very different. The history that is covered in my book is of the very near past, 30 years and is still being lived. The bakery I have mentioned in my book still exists and we buy our bread from there. But we forgot this kind of live in Germany. Even in İstanbul life is very different then it was.
Cappadocia: Do you think that the tourists see enough of Cappadocia?
E. Kopp: When we were coming to Cappadocia for the first time, we asked our friends who had seen the region, and they said that “3 days are enough”. Where as we have been coming here for 9 years and still there are places we have not seen yet. In Cappadocia, there are lots to see and discover. You can find something in every corner. The tourists only go to the chapels and they leave without seeing any of the local things.
Cappadocia: What do you do in İstanbul?
E. Kopp: We go to İstanbul for the winter. Due to my interest in the Otoman life, I paint and make “tuğra” (meaning imperial monogram) and etc. about them. You can see my paintings in my Internet site (www.evelynkopp.com).
Cappadocia: Have you got any other books?
E. Kopp: My first published book; but I have got two other books that are prepared. One of them is about the kinds of problems I have faced during my first years here, written in a witty language. It is waiting to be published. Then, I have got a storybook, I have written 300 pages but it has not finished yet because I am going through more interesting events.

“Uçhisar Unfolding-The Many Faces of a Cappadocian Village”
273 pages, in English, Çitlembik Yayınları, İstanbul
Price 15.000.000.-TL
Order address: www.citlembik.com.trwww.evelynkopp.com
e-mail: kitap@citlembik.com.trkiko92@superonline.com
 

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Reading Reading: 4167 Eklenme Tarihi Date: 2010-01-19
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