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The Turkish Connection

The Turkish ConnectionSome clients which Ian Smith Estate Agents welcome through its doors have a really original property to sell.  One of those clients is Maaike Bausch, originally from Belgium but relocating to North Cyprus in 1984.  Maaike is a well known figure around town, having successfully run two restaurants, Levant in Karaman and later Le Bistro in the Turkish Quarter in Girne. She also loves anything authentic and original, which this property certainly is!

Around 13 years ago Maaike was ready to move on from her original home in Karaman and was looking at property in the centre of Girne.  She eventually came across a house which, to all intents and purposes, was a ruin.  She noticed it because she says, “it just had some lovely purple cyclamen growing out of the wall”.  Maaike went on to buy the property, spending the next 6 years painstakingly rebuilding it, bringing it back to its original splendour.

Maaike was told that the property would have probably been built in the late 19th Century and was apparently given as a retirement home for the Captain of the Fleet of the last Ottoman Sultan, which is fascinating in itself.  She was therefore determined to rebuild the house without detracting from its original structure, partly in respect of its past but also because she loved the style that the property had been built in originally.

The before pictures of the property show how much it had fallen into disrepair and it was no mean feat to take on a project of this size.  As Maaike was familiar with North Cyprus and property on the island, she had many contacts on which to call and assembled her own team to take on the task.  Months were spent tracking down the right craftsmen that could deal with her requirements of bespoke stone and iron work, finding traditional and authentic materials to ensure that the property looked and felt as original as possible.  Her desire to mix Cypriot, Turkish and Mediterranean flavours have worked wonderfully with some great features such as murals, traditional doors and water features, but with some modern amenities such as air conditioning and central heating thrown in.  Detail has not been spared on any part of this property, something which Maaike says she is very proud of.  “It took 6 years, but I loved doing it and working with people who felt the same as I did, and that was to mirror what the property would have looked like when the Captain lived in it”.

The Turkish ConnectionOne traditional feature that would have been familiar for those more affluent houses many years ago is the central courtyard, with rooms spanning around an outer circle on two floors.  Maaike says of the property, “it gives a very protective feeling when you enter through the courtyard, you feel embraced by it and it’s very comforting”.

Sadly Maaike is now ready to sell the property after 13 years, but explains “whilst sad, it has got too big for me now as I live on my own and I would like someone else to take it on and love it has much as I have”.

The property is with Ian Smiths and is listed as ‘open to offers’, and is sparking many peoples interest, understandably so!

Property Details - G409


House Before House After Courtyard Before Courtyard After
Upper Circle Before Upper Circle After Internal Before Internal After