The Municipality of Girne started a big cleaning campaign on 27th October in the port, where more and more problems are experienced day by day due to the multiplicity and confusion between the responsible authorities.
Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü entered the ancient port with the municipal police and cleaning teams to assess the elements that cause pollution in a study he personally directed.
Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü stated that after the authority and responsibility for the port were taken from the municipality and transferred to the Ministry of Tourism and Environment 9 years ago the historical port began to suffer problems. He noted that many problems came to the fore due to the confusion of which authority had what responsibility for the various functions of managing the port.
About 5 years ago, Mayor Güngördü said, in order to avoid confusion of authority, the Municipality of Girne proposed that a secretariat should be established at the port under the supervision of the Municipality. These demands remained unanswered.
Stating that the port, which now has severe problems in infrastructure, environmental pollution, and visual amenity, has ceased to be a center of attraction. Güngördü emphasised that Girne Municipality, which is responsible for every point in the city, is also responsible for the historical port, which is the apple of the city’s and country’s eyes, and will fulfill the requirements of its responsibility.
Güngördü stated that Girne Municipality will be at the port with its teams every day from now on in order to eliminate 9 years of neglect in the port, which is the showcase of Northern Cyprus.
Güngördü stated that all ministries related to the port, departments, tradesmen, fishermen, municipality, touristic yacht operators, and all public and private stakeholders should know their responsibilities, and underlined that the Municipality will intervene wherever there is pollution or harm whether in the public or private sector.
Declaring that the cleaning campaign they have started in the port will be continuous, Güngördü said that they will work hard to make the historical port a place where tourists and locals can be hosted again.
Güngördü said that stakeholders should ask why tourists and locals left the port and that all involved should act with a common mind and restore the port to its former charm.
Noting that there should be a discipline amongst all the stakeholders, institutions, organisations, and businesses in the port, Güngördü said that it is the duty of the municipality to ensure this harmony and said that they will not allow pollution and uncontrolled change.
Noting that 5 years ago, they called upon the Department of Antiquities and Museums to restore the exteriors of 2 buildings in the port to their original historical appearance and to provide an example to other buildings in the municipality. Güngördü repeated this request and reiterated that the Department of Antiquities and Museums should undertake all the costs and labour for the exteriors of the 2 buildings and demanded that these requests be answered within 2 days.
Emphasising that the most suitable season has come to carry out repairs and renovations in the port and no time should be wasted, Güngördü stressed that they will intervene in all pollution and problems in the port from this day forward and that criminal and legal sanctions will be applied against those who create problems.
Güngördü further stated that Girne Municipality will be at the port every day but their aim is not to punish the tradesmen but to ensure that all stakeholders win by providing discipline here.
Güngördü said that the Ministry of Tourism and Environment has a project related to the arrangement of the Historic Port, but it has not started until today and emphasised that work should be started to improve the appearance of the port, which is the showcase of the country’s tourism. Reminding that no one is against a project that will protect the historical texture, environment and restore the original character of the historical port, Güngördü explained that the project had been suspended due to the ever-changing governments, and stated that the port could not be left idle while the project was awaited.
Noting that the castle walls had been cleared of grass and trees, Güngördü expressed that they were also ready to cooperate with the relevant ministries and all stakeholders regarding the port.
Güngördü asked everyone in the port, including tradesmen, fishermen, touristic yacht operators, cafes, and restaurants, to support their work and obey the rules so that the port can become a centre of attraction again.
Source (Turkish): Girne Municipality