The Girne Municipality, in collaboration with the City Planning Department, Department of Ancient Monuments and Museums, and the High Council of Monuments, has completed the Girne Environmental Protection Plan Amendment Proposal. An information meeting about the completed proposal was held at the Girne Colony Hotel. The meeting, which began on Tuesday, November 7th at 09:00 in the morning, was attended by representatives from ministries and departments, municipality/village council officials, and district governorship officials, as well as members of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Architects and Engineers (KTMMOB), affiliated chambers, representatives of civil society organizations, and officials from political parties and universities.
The meeting started with speeches by the Director of the City Planning Department, Türkmen Yiğitcan, and the Mayor of Girne, Murat Şenkul. Following the speeches, City Planner Nurhan Hızal conducted a presentation that lasted approximately 1.5 hours. After the presentation, a question-and-answer session was held, moderated by former Chairman of Kıb-Tek’s Board of Directors and Chairman of the KTMMO Union, Ahmet Hüdaoğlu, during which City Planner Ali Aremek answered questions.
The information meeting for the ‘Girne Environmental Protection Plan Amendment Proposal’ was held publicly and concluded with a substantial turnout.
Murat Şenkul: “It is essential for the central government to reveal the true population.”
Girne Mayor Murat Şenkul emphasized that, as the Girne Municipality, they evaluated the plan put forward in collaboration, focusing not only on the technical aspect but also on how the city’s development aligns with the region. Şenkul underlined the significance of this plan, which covers the beloved ancient harbour, bazaar, and fortress areas. He pointed out that the most significant challenge in Girne’s development is the unplanned and haphazard construction. During the implementation of the proposed measures, Şenkul stressed the primary priority should be to maintain a balance and harmony between the local residents and the commercial structure that will be established.
As the Girne Municipality, Şenkul mentioned that their demand is for a regulation that not only considers the city’s development but also ensures that future mistakes are not corrected with prohibitions. He emphasized that the city’s needs should not be overlooked. Regarding the population issue, Şenkul drew attention to the fact that as long as the central government fails to reveal the actual population, the efforts made will not fully achieve their purpose. He also pointed out that Girne’s population reaches 130,000 on weekdays and 150,000 on weekends, emphasizing the importance of acting based on accurate data.
Türkmen Yiğitcan, the Director of the City Planning Department, began his speech by reminding that urban plans are designed not to exceed a 20-year period. He noted that when we look at the Girne Environmental Protection Plan, it has remained unchanged since 1992. Yiğitcan emphasized that the only constant is change and, with the evolving urban structure, it has become necessary to revise this plan. He expressed their openness to all kinds of suggestions and requests on this matter and thanked everyone for their contributions, concluding his speech with the hope for a plan in 2023 that aligns with the current conditions.
What does the proposal cover?
The ‘Girne Environmental Protection Plan Amendment Proposal’ covers areas known as the Old Harbour, Fortress, and Surroundings and Turkish Quarter, which have been declared as conservation areas in accordance with Article 31 of the Zoning Law, but the boundaries have not been defined by law. The plan includes the creation of a “BUFFER ZONE” to prevent dense construction around the traditional core of the old town, which reflects the city’s two conservation-worthy urban fabric and cultural characteristics. The planning area covers an area of 0.74 km², which is 1.48% of Girne Municipality’s boundaries (50 km²).
The implementation boundaries within the proposal include the boundaries of the area covering the Old Harbour and Fortress, taking into account the traces of the old walls, which extend from Liman Hotel in the west to Canbulat Street, which extends to Ziya Rızkı Street, including the parcels of land with facades to the west. In the east and south, the boundary is defined by the Fortress and Ziya Rızkı Street.
Plan to be displayed for 42 days
For comments and proposal reports related to the proposal, the ‘Girne Environmental Protection Plan Amendment Proposal’ report and accompanying maps will be displayed for 42 days starting from Tuesday, November 7th (until December 18, 2023) on the websites www.girnebelediyesi.com and spt.gov.ct.tr, as well as at the Girne Municipality New Service Building and the City Planning Department.”