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ORHAN ARI -a School Teacher's Mark on Educational History, Teaching, Social Culture


Orhan Seyfi Ari
An Idealist and Visionary

“A luminary to so many teachers”
(Editorial in ‘Halkin Sesi’ of 27 December 1992)

Of those who wrote about him in English/American, in Turkish, in Greek –book-magazine-newspaper articles and officially and privately (in England, Cyprus, Australia).. to a poet he was a star –in his poem, to a columnist an eminent school, to an author a remarkable man, to an editor a defender of liberties, to a writer an honour to have known, and to a researcher ‘Such nice things I have heard about him!’...

To the Secretary of State for Education he was ‘the teacher of teachers’ –inscribed on his tomb, a university professor’s condolences from Turkey were to his nation –who in his honour named a street after him.

Orhan Ari was born in Lapithiou -Paphos, in the, at the time, British colony of Cyprus.. after completing his secondary and high-school education in Nicosia, and upon qualifying through Morphou Teachers Training College, he also studied agriculture…

With a keen interest in his continuing professional development through courses and seminars, and as to the rest mostly self-educated, he has left his unmistakeable mark in the educational, cultural, ethical, social, progress and development of Cyprus.

He had been a secondary school teacher, a head teacher, a lecturer; an occasional columnist, in his personal circle of friends also a debater, mystic, poet..
in retirement he was invited overseas to inspect schools, and to give talks to cultural organisations…

He was a true and courageous leader of both pupils and peoples ~his extraordinary motivating skills had made him a choice of the British for the pioneering educational and socio-cultural development of many of the country’s peoples, and popular in both the Turkish and Greek communities –having taught at also British schools pupils varying from Armenian to English etc., also after political independence, while later in the course of his community’s adapting to the Turkish system of education (as may be suggested by some of his symbolic poems) he appears to have been officially perhaps less appreciated, upon his peacefully passing away –as a cleric of a couple of years in his retirement to make ends meet, the press having praised also his patriotism, the Leader of the Parliament of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus described him as having made both the state and the nation proud as “A successful modern educator.. who will be, with love and respect, remembered always...”

Acknowledging his wife Suzan Ari (whose own death brought condolences from as far away as Canada -from university teaching staff) as his great helper, with a sense of duty as in his verses, he always pursued idealism:-

“Since to mourn and to remember us there is someone
That’s what counts –we can assume our duty to’ve done”

After his death a street was named after O S Ari in Marmara district Nicosia Cyprus

About the Author

The author's authority is based on the various writings in Turkish, Greek, English, of book authors and newspaper reporters and columnists and poets on the late theacher and thinker Orhan Seyfi Ari


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