MAKING WAVES OVERSEAS: HOT FM Community Radio’s ‘Voice of Cyprus’ host Alpay Baykurt says his ethnic radio show is gaining a huge following overseas.

By ALEXANDRA TRELOAR

IT has taken only a few short months for a HOT FM Community Radio ethnic program to gain a massive international following, thanks mainly to the host’s passion for radio.

Alpay Baykurt created ‘Voice of Cyprus’ last December, with the show going on to attract thousands of listeners from across the globe.

Aimed at the Cypriot community, Alpay’s program covers an extensive range of topics including international politics, sport, community issues and music.

However, he said the most popular segment is forwarding messages from his Eastern Europe audience to their loved ones living in Australia.

“Every show I receive so many text messages from around the world,” Alpay said. “People from London, Norway, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Holland, New Zealand, all wanting to send messages to their families who live in Australia.”

With thousands of people streaming online or tuning into Alpay’s program every Tuesday, he said he struggles to fit all of the messages from his fans into the show, despite being on air for almost four hours.

“I wish I could do more, but there’s no time!” Alpay said.

He said his other passion is featuring amateur international musicians so they can perform their music, so much so that he’s even created a competition for singers that’s made Cyprus news.

“I get singers and artists to send me their songs, and whichever ones get the most likes on Facebook wins,” Alpay said.

Migrating to Australia more than 20 years ago, the 63-year-old has been a dedicated community radio listener for most of his life, and said it’s been his goal for years to start a radio show.

“Finally my dream has come true, I just love it,” Alpay said. “I have a lot of stress in my life, but when I come here I put my mind on to other things and other people and it helps me relax.

“I just want to thank the people of Mildura, we love living here, my kids have so many opportunities, and the community makes us feel very welcome.”