The Village Minibus
By Kathy Martin…
A few months ago, our village of Doğanköy got our own Dolmuş (village minibus)!
This leaves every hour from 07.30 until 17.30 from the Doğanköy Coffee Shop, so thought I’d check it out!
Wednesday 31st August 2016 I decided to make a round trip on the dolmuş to check out the route. The cost is 2.50tl (65p) per trip, so for 5tl (£1.30) I was able to get into town and back again! As a comparison, a taxi would cost 15tl (£3.95) one-way.
The driver, Müslüm Baba is a very pleasant man, who I have spoken to a few times when I’ve been having a çay (Turkish tea) at the Coffee Shop. On one occasion he gave me some grapes from his garden!
Müslüm starts off his trip with a circuit of the village’s one-way system, giving several little “toots” on his horn. On this occasion we started our journey with a couple of tourists and a mother with her young son aged about 5.
The route he takes, after his circuit of the village, is into the Karakum Lemar carpark, across the New Harbour roundabout and continuing pass the Pia Bella hotel. As we approached the town centre, Müslüm announced “Town Centre” for the benefit of the tourists. We picked up some more passengers, as we continued our journey.
We turned left and passing the Colony hotel continued up to the main Lefkoşa roundabout. Turning right, we passed the market which opens every Wednesday and Sunday (as advertised on the front of the Dolmuş). On this occasion no one needed the market.
We continued down the same road until we reached the roundabout near HSBC bank, where Müslüm did a 360 round it and we came back up the road to the town centre…..
We diverted through the back streets, passing Effendi’s restaurant (often wondered where that was!) and returned to the main road near the Post Office.
We continued back past the Pia Bella into the Karakum Lemar carpark. Müslüm saw a couple of girls carrying their shopping and shouted from the window “Doğanköy”, which I felt was a nice touch! However, they declined his offer!
We were back at the Doğanköy Coffee Shop by about 10.05.
After a brief chat with Müslüm, in my broken Turkish and his limited English, established that the service has been running for about two months and he would love more passengers!
However, he did tell me that sometimes he completes the whole circuit with no passengers at all!
He ended by saying “Inşallah” (“If God pleases or God willing”) he will get more passengers
I am hoping by writing this that maybe some of our local ex-pats will decide to use the dolmuş, especially for market day! We enjoyed a cup of çay before Müslüm left for his 10.30 departure. Unfortunately, I noticed that after his circuit of the village he left with an empty bus!