March 31, 2023

United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Regional Organisation (UCLG-MEWA) recently elected Güngördü as Co-President at their General Assembly meeting.

Mayor Nidai Güngördü said “The Middle East and West Asia are one of the important areas of the world and local government management is a very sensitive and crucial issue in this region. Acting as one of the six Co-Presidents of such a significant organisation has far reaching implications for both Girne and our country”.

“More than personal satisfaction I feel happy that Turkish Cypriots, our city and country will be represented amongst other local government administrations. We were deemed fit to join them in this function”.

Güngördü reminded that the Tourism and Culture Committee of Girne Municipality had organised the UCLG-MEWA ‘Accessible Tourism’ workshop in Girne last October and held on-line and face to face meetings during the pandemic period. They were regarded as being successful in these activities and had also published a book entitled ‘Accessibility Guide’.

The Tourism and Culture Committee had a direct interest in tourism that was fit for the character of both the country and Girne town. Besides tackling many other issues, during his three-year term of office, he wanted to lay in place procedures that disabled tourists would use to overcome accessibility problems during their visits. He was pleased to report that they had made great progress with the decisions taken in this regard.

His term of office as co-chair of the Tourism and Culture Committee had come to an end in May but he would continue in that capacity for the 2022-25 session and inform the new committee members of the decisions and applications already completed. He had also been appointed  Chairman of the Gender Equality Committee. This was of particular importance in the region and he was planning to organise many vital discussions and scientific studies on gender discrimination.

Güngördü felt he had to emphasise again the significant importance of being elected as the Co-President of UCLG-MEWA which had 280 cities as members.

He said: “We need to believe in the power and democracy of local governments. We are counting on the common sense of our citizens and value the support and opinions of the universities and academicians on scientific issues. Turkish Cypriots have aptly demonstrated their ability to influence municipal governments of the world. We should get much more support from our central government as in other countries. If citizens are smiling it is due to local governments and thus the whole country will smile. That is why the support of central government is essential here too”.

Source (Turkish): Girne Municipality

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