Refika

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sonraki karpostal

Refika

 

 

Dear Toprak,

Greatings from Kucukkuyu, Heaven of olive oil and oxygen.

Simge Canatar…

 

“Refika”, was a legendary beauty that lived in the village of Adatepe where the Greek and Turkish populations co-existed towards the end of 19th, and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Despite her Greek origin, her grace and joyfulness had made her beloved by the Turkish community as well. She sang cheerfully and danced beautifully during wedding parties and at all festivals.

Her graceful beauty and generosity had been legendary not only in Adatepe but also extended far beyond to neighboring villages. Especially during the olive harvest season, it was a real treat for her fellow villagers to work in the same grove where she picked olives while singing cheerfully or chatting with them.

Both communities continued to live peacefully until the Greek occupation of the region at the end of World War I. Unfortunately, the war had provoked hostility between the two communities. So, as a consequence of a population exchange agreement between the two governments, Refika, who has always had a special place in the hearts of the Turkish villagers, had to leave Adatepe.

Her absence in Adatepe caused such great sorrow that the young men of the village composed a ballad in her name. So, it has been a tradition in Adatepe to sing her ballad and dance on the occasion of a wedding party or a local festivity.
Her story, told by the elders of the village, touched us very deeply. Hearing more legends about her, like settling in Chios and winning the first beauty contest and more, have led our way to this little island to trace her footsteps.

We could not find any sound evidence of her existence there, but a framed picture we happened to find in an antique shop made us think, ‘Why not?’ Her beauty and the naïve look on her face along with an Ottoman hairdressing style tempted us to believe it could be her. When the elders of our village nodded their heads and with astonished eyes almost crying said, ‘Definitely, it is her’, we believed once more that Refika is still alive in the imagination of our villagers.
Thus, we decided to preserve her image and name on our label as a symbol of beauty and goodness, which Adatepe Olive Oil gives to people.

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