Under the Orange Trees is the follow-up to Akin Yilmaz’s debut novel ‘The Olive Trees.’ Under the Orange Trees is set in his father’s village of Tera during the Cyprus Emergency of the late 1950s.
It tells the story of an archaeologist’s quest to discover Roman treasure buried somewhere in the village of Tera whilst being drawn into the troubles happening in Cyprus at that time. Asked what inspired him to write the book, Turkish Cypriot Akin said ‘The Olive Trees’ originally started as a research project into my family history and then developed into a history of dad’s village, Tera,in Cyprus.’
Yilmaz was born in Tottenham, North London to parents who emigrated from Cyprus in the 1960s. He trained as an accountant after leaving school and has a master’s degree in psychology. The father of three children whom he shares with his wife Binnur, delved into his family history after being gifted a DNA testing kit for his birthday a few years ago.
His research included discovering old documents and books about Cyprus including contacting the Department of Antiquities in Nicosia who confirmed that archaeological discoverers had proved that the area near Tera had been inhabited during the Hellenistic period over 2,000 years ago.
‘Under the Orange Trees’ continues where my first book finished and through factual events and fiction tells what Cyprus was like during these traumatic times for the inhabitants of the island.’
Carry on from the Olive Tree which travels through the time of Alexander the Great, the Romans, the Arabs and Byzantines, the Crusaders, and the Venetians, being part of the Ottoman Empire and then the British Empire. The Orange tree incorporates fictional storytelling with his family history, blending part of his parent’s wedding into the story as the island goes through a new political shift.
Looking at how daily life was affected and setting context to the time period, showing how village life was like as tenses grew people faced in the daily lives. “I want to bring to life what village is like and what it was like at the time for both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots and I hope that this is captured in the book.” He said.
The book which can be read alone is available in paperback and kindle versions direct from Amazon.
About the Author
Akin is currently Director of Finance at the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, the governing body of licensed greyhound racing in the UK. His voluntary roles include being Company Secretary of Enfield Town Football Club and a Governor at Enfield Grammar School.