Canan Reeves.

I met Christopher for the first time in 1983 when I was Public Relations Manager for BP Turkey and when he spent a few days in Istanbul with his great friend Jerry Bridge on his way overland from Australia to England. He had previously been in Istanbul for short visits when his father, Peter, was General Manager of BP Turkey. Peter had informed us that Christopher might be in touch and might wish to contact some old friends and acquaintances. The news of Christopher’s arrival was welcome in the Company because everyone who had met him – the GM’s secretary, the driver, some members of the staff – remembered him as a warm, friendly young boy who showed his appreciation for the smallest service rendered to him.

Christopher did get in touch, first by phone, and said he was staying with a friend in a students hostel in the old city. He didn’t give his address and only agreed to a meeting a few days later. I subsequently discovered he had wanted time to wash his clothes, have a haircut and generally make himself presentable after a long and arduous journey by land from Iran before meeting his Father’s ex colleagues. This was typical Christopher, as I realised when I came to know him better, after Peter and I were married years later.

He loved adventure, was not afraid of danger and could live in the world’s remotest areas for long periods. But this did not prevent him from upholding the standards he had set for himself nor from conforming to traditions. He was comfortable in jeans and sweaters but he looked forward to the occasions when he would wear his morning coat or dinner jacket – and he looked dashing in them. He did not mind wearing T-shirts with holes but he was glowing with joy when he was given his late grandfather’s hand made shoes. He could survive on bread and cheese but was the first to appreciate a good meal and vintage port in a good restaurant. Some of Peter’s happiest moments were spent with Christopher lunching at Simpsons in the Strand.

After Peter and I were married, Christopher paid frequent visits to Turkey, mainly to our summer house in Bodrum. He sometimes came with his daughter Sarah and later, of course, with Flea. He spear fished, walked, climbed hills, swam, played tennis and went out in boats. When Sarah was with him he dutifully accompanied her, and many other youngsters from our neighbourhood, to night clubs. Most of all he liked talking to his father. After supper they spent hours on the balcony reminiscing, planning, laughing. All our neighbours and friends liked him, he was so natural, so forthcoming. He would easily fit into many groups, regardless of nationality or social class. Children felt comfortable with him, so did animals.One of his best friends was “Horrible”, a stray dog we looked after during the summer. On one occasion, when he was trying to hide Horrible from the gardeners, who were against the presence of a street dog in the compound, he was mistaken for an intruder and was chased – but not caught!

This was Christopher – kind, compassionate, “giving”. He is sadly missed by his many Turkish friends. My son, who only met him on two occasions, once in Amsterdam and once in London, talks about him as a friend. I very much regret that circunstances prevented me from being closer to him but what I know about him is enough to make me bitterly regret his untimely loss.

Canan Reeves

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