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Özer Boyacı: A Life of Dedication and Success

Özer Boyacı, born on February 20, 1938, in Nicosia, was a visionary entrepreneur and the founder of Levent Group, the largest local employer in Northern Cyprus. His legacy is marked by unwavering dedication, entrepreneurial spirit, and a deep commitment to his country and community.

Early Life and Education

Özer Boyacı's surname, "Boyacı," meaning "painter" in Turkish, was given to his grandfather, Salih Bey, for his profession of yarn dyeing. From a young age, Özer worked alongside his father, Mehmet Boyacı, in the family's yarn factory, absorbing the intricacies of the business. After completing his high school education, he embarked on a year of language training at the Goethe Institute in Germany, gaining proficiency in German and English. This linguistic fluency, coupled with his native Turkish and childhood knowledge of Greek, proved invaluable in his future endeavors.

Business Ventures and Entrepreneurial Spirit

In 1959, Özer Boyacı entered the professional world, coinciding with his father's launch of a new company. The company's name, "Levent," meaning "brave sailor" in Turkish, was chosen through a contest, reflecting the values of courage and perseverance that would define Özer's own life.

In 1969, Özer took over his father's shirt manufacturing factory, Sir, marking the beginning of his illustrious career. Embracing work as his life philosophy, he remained actively involved in business until his final days. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to diverse ventures, starting with small and large livestock farming in 1960.

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Innovation

In 1963, Özer was forced to withdraw from livestock farming due to restrictions imposed by Greek Cypriot cooperatives on milk procurement from Turkish Cypriots. However, his passion for agriculture and animal husbandry remained undiminished, leading to his re-entry into these sectors in 1996.

Özer's unwavering patriotism was evident in his reopening of the closed Sir shirt factory during the 1974 Peace Operation, working tirelessly alongside two friends to produce sandbags for the Turkish army. He never lost faith in his country, even in the face of adversity.

Expanding beyond domestic markets, Sir began producing pajamas and shirts for export, making Özer one of the first Turkish Cypriots to engage in international trade. The loss of a shipment of shirts due to Greek Cypriot authorities' interference during the 1974 Peace Operation served as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by Turkish Cypriot entrepreneurs.

A Legacy of Social Responsibility and Philanthropy

Özer Boyacı's contributions extended far beyond business. He was a passionate advocate for sports, particularly shooting, in which he excelled, winning numerous championships both before and after 1974. His sporting interests also included horseback riding, hunting, billiards, and football.

Özer's dedication to social responsibility was evident in his unwavering support for disabled athletes. The Paralympic Stars Shooting Team, which he founded, achieved remarkable success, earning numerous medals.

A Family Man and an Inspiration

Özer Boyacı's personal life mirrored his professional achievements. Married to Neriman Niyazi since 1956, their 61-year union was blessed with two daughters, two sons, and eight grandchildren. His deep love and respect for his wife, Neriman, and his emphasis on his children's education were widely admired.

A Pioneer and a Visionary

Özer Boyacı's entrepreneurial spirit, unwavering dedication, and commitment to social responsibility have left an indelible mark on Northern Cyprus. His legacy lives on through the Levent Group, the Özer and Neriman Boyacı Foundation, and the countless individuals he inspired.


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