A British Cypriot who launched an online petition to name a street in Cyprus after superstar George Michael wants to see the same recognition extended island-wide.
Haji Mike, an academic and musician who now lives and works in Nicosia, told T-VINE Magazine he sees no reason why the street naming should be restricted to just one area on the island:
“It would be great to see a street in Patriki, where George’s dad was born, named after him. The more recognition for George Michael, the better!”
Patriki, called Tuzluca in Turkish, is located at the base of the Karpaz panhandle, nestled between Ergazi, Çayırova and Kalecik villages. Prior to the island’s division in 1974, it was a Greek Cypriot village. George Michael’s dad lived there until 1953, when he moved to Britain.
George Michael unexpectedly passed away on Christmas Day following suspected heart failure. The 53-year-old singer-songwriter sold over 100 million records during his career, chalking up numerous number one hits worldwide. Since his death, thousands of fans have paid homage outside his homes in Hampstead and Oxford.
The London-born star had mixed ancestry: his mother was an English Jew, whom he was very close to, but George made frequent references to his Greek Cypriot heritage. He visited Cyprus often, while also supporting Cypriot causes including the UK Thalassemia Society, which helps those suffering from a debilitating genetic blood disorder that affects many Cypriots.
George Michael at Haringey Council Wood Green Civic Centre in 1980’s with Bernie Grant supporting Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Charity pic.twitter.com/tyBDA9t43o
— Emine Ibrahim (@Emina_ibrahim) January 14, 2017
Mike is urging all Cypriots on the island and in the Diaspora to sign the petition. Over 2,250 people have signed it so far and Mike would love to see that figure double.
“George was the most world’s famous Cypriot and proud of his roots. A rare and incredibly talented artist. A good man who supported many charities and struggles for equality and justice.”
“Whether you’re a Cypriot or a fan, let’s ensure George Michael’s memory lives on in Cyprus forever.”
Plans are also afoot for a bi-communal memorial for George Michael in Cyprus. The event will coincide with the star’s funeral, details of which have yet to be announced by his family. Follow the news on the campaign and memorial event via Haji Mike’s blog, From the Sublime to the Ridiculous.
Sign the petition to Name a Street after the late George Michael in Cyprus here.
Main photo above: John Vickers interviews George Michael for CyBC Radio in Cyprus in 1984. Photo © John Vickers