Ersin book pres10

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Ersin Öztoycan grew up a Turkish Cypriot in the East End of London, England, where her childhood was profoundly affected by her unrecognized dyslexia. When her own children experienced similar difficulties at school in England and then northern Cyprus, Ersin was determined to provide them with support and resources. Her struggle to do this led her into a lifetime’s commitment, in both halves of the divided island of Cyprus, to raising awareness of the challenges facing people with dyslexia and to improving the educational opportunities open to them. In this inspiring book Ersin recounts the hardships and joys of her life, her family and her work, as she moves between British, Turkish and Greek Cypriot cultures. Including a revealing account of her battle with cancer, she writes, as she lives, with energy and humour. http://www.ersinoztoycan.com/ , http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-life-Ersin-Oztoycan/dp/B005I OVBLA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326443946&sr=8-1

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My File Life Autobiography By Ersin Öztoycan www.ersinoztoycan.com www.amazon.co.uk

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Ersin Öztoycan grew up a Turkish Cypriot in the East End of London, England, where her childhood was profoundly affected by her unrecognized dyslexia. When her own children experienced similar difficulties at school in England and then northern Cyprus, Ersin was determined to provide them with support and resources. Her struggle to do this led her into a lifetime ’ s commitment, in both halves of the divided island of Cyprus, to raising awareness of the challenges facing people with dyslexia and to improving the educational opportunities open to them. In this inspiring book Ersin recounts the hardships and joys of her life, her family and her work, as she moves between British, Turkish and Greek Cypriot cultures. Including a revealing account of her battle with cancer , she writes, as she lives, with energy and humour .

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Book review by Christine Iacovou I pick up the phone and dial 4409. ‘Hi Ersin . How are you?’ ‘Oh, I’m fine,’ she says. That has to be the understatement of the century! I first met Ersin when she started working at UNFICYP and she paid the usual courtesy call to Transport for her driving assessment. We had to wait a few minutes for the car and during that short time she told me everything about herself. She’s a Turkish Cypriot brought up in London, her involvement with dyslexia, husband, children… everything! Ha! A talker! But a very nice one because I warmed to her immediately and we have remained friends often comparing ‘hot flushes’ and belly dancing whenever the opportunity presents itself. I knew Ersin had decided to write about her life so far and her struggle to get her story published. I know about her involvement with dyslexia and I know about her illness and how courageously she is dealing with it. But when she finally published her book and I read My (File) Life I was completely astonished. I didn’t know anything! How can so much happen to one person and how on earth has she come through it all? Well, she survived because that is Ersin . You don’t have to spend too much time with her to know her as a good and generous person and her acknowledgment to her colleagues, or rather her loyal friends in PIO for their support and active help in getting her book published only proves this. Strangely, I also find she has a very calming influence over me. I say strangely because I think I would have gone very slightly mad if I had lived her life. You should read this book because Ersin’s early years in London will sound familiar to many Cypriots brought up in Britain; although I would have to say that most will not have experienced the extremes of her story. The action soon moves to the north of Cyprus in the time before the border gates were opened and the differences yet obvious similarities between the cultures is plain to see. Ersin tells her story simply and honestly and you will find yourself reading until you reach the last page. The story continues to the present day and I will say no more in case I say too much! I will just say that you will learn a lot from this ‘life file’ and it will make you stop and think and maybe even understand why Ersin is who she is.

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Book review I have known, worked and cooperated with Ersin over the last 10 years, and together we have been able to avoid the political minefields in Cyprus and improve things on the island for dyslexics and other persons with special needs in Cyprus. Our experience has shown that with a little flexibility relations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot Communities can be improved and developed, while there are no obstacles to warm personal relations whatever difficulties are imposed by the political divide. As Ersin states “where there is a will there is a way”, and I believe that the experience with the two dyslexia associations in Cyprus gives us all the hope that if this approach is taken it should be possible to resolve the problems that have bedeviled this beautiful island over the past 60 years. “My life/file” is a wonderful book, in which the life of Ersin is put before us literally as an “open book”, in which happiness, love, sadness, difficulties and tragedy are presented with a disarming frankness interspersed with humour . It is an “easy read” that among other things brings out into the open the restrictions on Cypriot woman and young girls living under the “fossilized” social codes of the Cyprus emigrants that are followed by both Greek and Turkish communities in Britain. The title itself brings out the problems caused by the dyslexia disability, with “LIFE” and “FILE” demonstrating the spelling problems of dyslexics, since the latter was in Ersin’s school days sometimes written to denote the former. Throughout the book the problems of dyslexics are clearly presented, both the difficulties faced by the children and their parents and families. While at the some time the shortcomings of the teachers, schools and educational systems are colourfully described. In the final section of her book Ersin presents us all with a formula of how to approach illness and tragedy, summarized in the final comment of “how important it is to live every day of your life as if it the last. Treasure every moment you have with your children and loved ones, because you never know what’s waiting around the corner”. Having been diagnosed with cancer, Ersin focuses on the optimistic and happy aspects of life that we should all appreciate, and implies that we should not allow misunderstandings or disappointment to affect our judgement . The most remarkable feature of this autobiography is, however, the ability of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to work together, and develop friendships irrespective of the political obstacles faced. This gives us hope that we may be able to resolve our political differences, and thereby improve life on this island. In this respect Ersin , her family and her friends have set an example for all of us. Costas Apostolides . Former Chairman of the Cyprus Dyslexia Association

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Me aged six

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My sister, fat aunt and I when we came to Cyprus to learn Turkish

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Engaged at fithteen

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Tied the knot at sixteen

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Time to celebrate

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Money Money Money

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My fat aunt strutting her stuff to belly dance music.

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Family holiday in America. From the left: Serkan, Birol, Me, Cemo and Sinem

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Family celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary.

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Established the North Cyprus Dyslexia Association (NCDA) in 2001. Children at the association thank visiting academic.

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Teaching techniques explained to top education authority officals at NCDA.

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Teacher training at the NCDA.

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New Year party at the NCDA

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I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma on 13 May 2005. My brother Nev was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2007.

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Nev and I fooling around before his chemo, my true champion lost his battle against cancer on 23 April 2008.

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My little angel granddaughter Nehir

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We look to the future with hope and excitment.

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We are all champions Some people are born champions ... Some need help to become a champion... Just like children with learning difficulties that need help and support to achieve their dreams. Some need help to become a champion... Just like a person suffering with a life threatening disease like cancer, they are all champions in their battle for survival. Those that take the ability to read and write , those that take the gift of life and good health for granted. Please take time to reach out to those who are suffering. Ersin Öztoycan , 13 January 2012

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