Nicosia Bandabuliya Re-opens

 Over €2 million of EU funding was allocated for this project 

Chris and I had an invitation to attend the re-opening of the Bandabuliya (old market) in Nicosia on 20th June 2012, following the refurbishment funded by the European Union and organised by the United Nations Development Programme – Partnership for the Future.

We arrived to find the market heaving with people waiting for the arrival of Stefan Fǔle, Member of the European Commission, from Brussels, to officially open the Bandbuliya.   There was an opportunity to take note of the hard work which had been put in by the market vendors since we saw the virtually completed market last week so now there were many units all ready to do business, there are many fruit and vegetable units and meat and fish, also many tourist attractions such as gift shops, clothes, Turkish Delight, and foodstuffs.  The market is under cover and there are 77 units, not all yet occupied but I am sure it will not be long before every unit is selling their wares which should attract locals and tourists alike.  

Over €2 million of EU funding was allocated for this project under the Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community. The work for the rehabilitation of this old market of Nicosia began in September 2010, as part of a scheme for the revitalization of the Walled City of Nicosia and the conservation of its architectural heritage funder the European Union and implemented by UNDP Partnership for the Future.

The upgrading of the retailers’ area covers an estimated ground surface of 4,500 square meters and encompasses the restoration and rehabilitation of 77 stalls. The project includes the upgrading of the existing structural conditions of the building as well as its infrastructure, facilities, stalls, walkways, windows, doors and the entire roof. The overall effort aimed to enhance the organizational set up of the market as well as to upgrade the market appearance and its infrastructure in line with modern international standards.

In addition to the improvements works, UNDP worked very closely through this project with the market vendors and the local authorities to strengthen their engagement, promote greater accountability and future sustainability, as well as to ensure the adherence and compliance with EU standards.

The projects for the restoration and upgrading of this historical market in Nicosia went much beyond the improvements works. Thanks to EU funds, the market will have, at least for the first year, a free wireless Internet access area and a permanent exhibition and photos display. To complement the restoration works, UNDP-PFF has organised a series of training on food hygiene and food handling, specifically addressing the needs and requests of the market vendors. This will provide significant opportunities for market vendors and the local communities to bring the Bandabuliya back to the centre of Nicosia’s city life as it was in the past.

The Bandabuliya (Old Market) is one of several urban upgrading projects funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP Partnership for the Future in the framework of the Nicosia Master Plan.

The opening event featured speeches, theatre and dance performances, as well as the inauguration of a permanent exhibition to present both an historical and contemporary perspective to the Bandabuliya marketplace.

The opening ceremony began and Stefan Fǔle spoke to the people assembled which included Government and Local Authority Officials, many local businessmen and guests as well as the market vendors.

This was followed by speeches from Cemal Bulutoğlulan – the Mayor of Lefkoşa, Pierre Harzé – Deputy Director UNDP from Brussels, Tiziana Zennard – Programme Manager UNDP-PFF, and Semavi Aşık – Representative of the Market Vendors.

The ribbon was then cut and Stefan Fǔle with the other officials walked through the market to the sound of music played by entertainers and in another area there was traditional folk dancing being performed.  There was a distinct carnival atmosphere with many people thronging the roads and walkways in the market.

Eventually the dignitaries and officials had all left and the market was ready to start business.

By Margaret Sheard

To see other pictures of the old market visit Tony’s Albums