By Ralph Kratzer……..
In May 2013 I wrote an article about the Mare Monte Beach in Alsancak, a former tourist hotel and bungalow complex which was closed a few years ago but then the beach area was reopened, operated and maintained by the Alsancak Municipality as a public beach for locals, foreign residents and tourists.
It was a very well known and frequented site, because although the facilities like showers, toilets and changing rooms were old and not up to modern standards, the municipality did its best to keep the beach clean, offer food and beverages as well as sunbeds and parasols at very reasonable prices and, the main thing, to keep it open to the public. Read my former article by clicking here.
But then the owner of good old Mare Monte, the Vakiflar Idaresi (Department of Foundations) rented the place to Net Holding, a huge Istanbul based company, which runs the Merit Hotel and Casino group in Northern Cyprus and already built 2 new hotel complexes next to the Mare Monte Beach over the last few years. Read more about Net Holding by clicking here.
Since then the location was always in imminent danger of being closed to the public. It is likely to be transformed into another luxury resort for wealthy tourists and gamblers.
But now Alsancak, under its new Mayor Firat Ataser, is fighting back!
This is what I actually read in the monthly newspaper Alsancak Express, published by the municipality.
“Mare Monte is Ours”
(Excerpts from the original article)
Alsancak Municipality organized a protest event on Sunday 29th of March for the handing over of Mare Monte Hotel and Beach…. Alsancak Mayor made a speech… and said that the municipality started a struggle to bring one of Cyprus´ favourite places back to its good old days… according to TRNC law, beaches belong to the public… we want this beautiful beach… to be handed over to the municipality… if Mare Monte is given away then the public will not have any free access to the sea…
The mayor also explained that the project to be implemented [by Net Holding] was stopped as big parts of the area had been found to be archeological sites.
Participants in the protest march were – as well as many citizens of Alsancak – Mr. Ataser and his municipality team, and the Minister of Education Mr. Berova together with other representatives of the TRNC parliament and leading parties.
According to the information, a court appeal is already pending against Net Holding for demolishing Mare Monte Disco [a part of the former hotel] without permission.
I personally wish Mr. Ataser and the Alsancak municipality to be successful in their fight for public interests.
Here are two video clips of Mare Monte how it should be and how it was at the end of 2013! (published by Chris Krzentz on YouTube)