March 26, 2023

A sister city protocol was signed between Girne Municipality and Hatay Metropolitan Municipality on 22nd November. President Ersin Tatar also attended and witnessed the protocol signing ceremony in the new Service Building of Girne Municipality.

Speaking at the ceremony, Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü stated that interaction, knowledge and experience sharing are of great importance to the life of cities, and that as a municipality, they attach great importance to creating the sister city link, which has become popular between cities. The knowledge and experience of each city will be shared with the other.

Saying he was delighted to sign the sister city protocol with Hatay in the presence of President Ersin Tatar, Güngördü said that the cities shared the close geography and economic, cultural, social, and historical traditions.  He believed that he could share his knowledge and experience on the development of olive trees, agricultural techniques, olives and by-products.  Expressing his belief that the protocol will allow Hatay, with a population of over 2 million and Girne, with a population of over 100 thousand, to cooperate and share experience in many fields, which will create great gains for Girne. Güngördü thanked Hatay Metropolitan Municipality Mayor ,Lütfü Savaş, for creating this opportunity. .

Mr Savaş, replying,  emphasized that local governments getting closer to each other, establishing contacts and sharing experiences will create mutual benefits, and by establishing these ties, it is possible to act together in many social, cultural, political and economic fields. Observing that the world now focuses on centralization, but development from the local level, and adding value to a city by using the local opportunities to the maximum has an important place.

Stating that central governments act with a macro-level point of view when working locally, but local administrators have to consider the issue at a more micro level, considering the pluses, expectations and possibilities of the city of that district, in cooperation with the local people. They have to think about projects that will accelerate the city and gain maximum profit. He stated that the cooperation of municipalities that want to move their cities into the future by looking at them from this perspective is of great importance. Stating that with the signed protocol, a mutually beneficial cooperation with the Girne municipality will be ensured, Savaş expressed that both sides will value this protocol for the welfare of their respective cities.

Reporting that they have been in discussions with the municipalities in the country for 3 days, as the mayors of the CHP, and on the instruction of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğu to contribute to the development of the TRNC in every field.

Savaş said that with the cooperation to be established, the ties of brotherhood between the two countries that have existed for centuries will be strengthened and the TRNC will become stronger and maintain its independence. He noted that following the protocol the TRNC will be promoted more in Hatay from now on, starting with the creation of a TRNC Garden at the Botanical Expo, which will be opened in April. They will also create a kitchen where Turkish Cypriot dishes are promoted.

President Ersin Tatar also reminded that after the Peace Operation, a substantial number of people from Hatay settled in Northern Cyprus and that there were special relations between the two countries. He hoped that the protocol signed between the cities of Girne and Hatay would be beneficial. Emphasizing that local governments made significant contributions to the development and promotion of countries in general, Tatar also said that the fraternity protocols signed between cities contributed significantly to the development of cultural, political, economic, and social activities, the cohesion of peoples, and the formation of solidarity. Stating that after the protocol, Girne and the TRNC will be permanently linked to Hatay, Tatar wished that the work on establishing sea transportation between Hatay and Girne would be completed as soon as possible. Reminding that the TRNC derives its power from its motherland Turkey,

President Ersin Tatar emphasized that the development of maritime transport activities between Hatay and Kyrenia, as well as air flights, is of great importance, and stated that economic, cultural and social ties will also develop between Hatay and TRNC with the establishment of this communication. Tatar stated that with the signed protocol, olive cultivation, which is widely practiced in Hatay and Girne, will also be developed. Noting that despite all the political obstacles and isolation in the TRNC, there is a great dynamism with its culture, people, and entrepreneurs investing in the economic field, Tatar said that he is very happy to witness the protocol that will create important ties between the two cities.

After the speeches, the Girne Municipality and Hatay Metropolitan Municipality Sister City Protocol was signed.

Source (Turkish): Girne Municipality


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