Kyrenia Post

Newspaper in North Cyprus

The Feminine Side of Classic Car Culture

By Serpil Kadirlar

Yeliz Balibey is one of those unique, extraordinary women who will naturally capture the attention of everyone who makes contact with her. With a charming, graceful disposition, positive attitude, boundless energy and vast knowledge of all things life, Yeliz, has been actively involved with the promotion, protection and preservation of classic automobiles for many years. Promoting female involvement  in a male dominated culture, contributing to the lobbying for the protection of the classic industry and culture,  protecting the image, development and progression of the classic car sub-culture.

Born and raised in Istanbul, Yeliz’ love affair with classic cars began when she was a child. Yeliz would spend much time with her grandfather who owned a classic Turkish Anadol and nurtured Yeliz’ interest which manifested into the international representative she has become today. She currently owns a 1960 Ford Anglia (also known as the “flying car” from the Harry Potter movies!) and owns only one of three which exists in Turkey, but drives the only one on the road in Turkey.

Founder of KLASIK KADIN, which aims to encourage and empower women and youths to enter the world of classic cars, Yeliz is currently the general secretary of the Classic Car Club in Turkey, and through her work has attended global events, presenting speeches and analysis in the USA, Romania has been welcomed by the FIVA organisation in France (Federation of International Vehicle Antiquities), where she was the first  female confederate to commence a project entitled “trade, skills and youth” . With many other international platforms under her belt, Yeliz has become a significant figure in the world of Classic Cars…

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By Yeliz Balibey

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-12 at 4.12.29 PM
Yeliz Balibey

The appreciation of classic cars is now, more than ever, growing at an astonishing rate as people worldwide begin to understand the importance and value of classic automobiles while maintaining this valuable sub-culture. Not only maintaining the monetary value of personal collections, but also the historical and cultural value of the actual vehicles.

Classics are incomparable to modern cars in almost every aspect. Where modern day cars may offer a level of comfort and practicality, they are somewhat robotic. Most problems which occur in modern cars can be diagnosed and fixed with computers, which means that intricate manual labour, care and attention is no longer required when modern cars are serviced and repaired.

Classics are a polar opposite of this. They require time, understanding, manual attention, intricacy and knowledge. Therefore any classic car which remains in working order today should be looked upon as a labour of love- because without this, it would not be functional. And unlike modern cars, the old-school offers character, feedback and a mystery surrounding the history of not only the brand but of the car itself. One cannot help but imagine the roads of which a classic car has travelled, the trips it has taken,  the “who” and “what” was lived and experienced within the chassis of the vehicle. Once sat inside a classic, only one who can truly appreciate such things will understand the feelings of childlike wonder which are invoked by these valuable cars!

Thankfully, classic car culture has now surpassed its position of just another sub-culture. Owing to the hard work and lobbying of enthusiasts, classic car clubs and groups, together we have secured the lifelong preservation and protection of classic automobiles as a mobile heritage under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), and the organisation will now ensure the recognition and continuation of classic car culture which will not wither away within time; an heirloom for our future generations.

As with any culture, development and progression must continue to evolve. The notion that classic car culture is one only enjoyable for mature men is a misconception and one which leads to the exclusion of women and younger generations. Changing this misconception has become my personal mission.

There are literally thousands of women across the globe who enjoy, own and aspire to own classic cars. This was the driving force behind establishing www.klasikkadin.com .

The beauty of the classic car culture is that it is universally suitable for everybody and has no restrictions or biases between age, ethnicity, background or cultural roots.

There is no logical reason why families should not see classic automobile events as an exciting opportunity for a day out. There is no reason why children should not join their parents in entering classic car rallies which rely on timing and navigation rather than speed. With children secured in back seats or teenagers assisting with navigation instructions, it is not only an opportunity for family bonding but also teaches new skills and perspective to younger ones who get involved. The shows are sure to captivate the youths among us while offering an opportunity to form friendships through socializing and interacting on a human level rather than the common methods of communication nowadays which isolates young people behind the cold screen of a computer or android device.

I would like to urge my fellow females worldwide to join me on this journey of female empowerment and be a part of a movement which secures our place in a culture and industry which has been male dominated for decades.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram- www.instagram.com/klasikkadin/ – get in touch and get involved. For information on classic events past and upcoming events, visit my website www.klasikkadin.com .

Together, with clubs, organisations and social awareness, we can develop this growing culture and movement which will continue to bring communities from all walks of life together as a single entity.

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