The Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Urban Research and Development Center (EMU-URDC), the Center for Cyprus Studies (KAM), the Eastern Mediterranean Cultural Heritage Research Center (DAKMAR) and the Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Research Center (AKVAM) released an 18th of April World Heritage Day statement which reads as follows:
“The Eastern Mediterranean University greatly values cultural assets in its education, research and public service activities. On today which has been pronounced the World Cultural Heritage Day by the International Council on Monuments and Sites, EMU assumes the duty of reminding all parties about protecting the cultural values of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as this is the country’s greatest asset.
The theme of the International Council on Monuments and Sites’ 2019 World Heritage Day is “Rural Landscapes”.
With the knowledge that our villages in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) are increasingly losing their charm, traditional characteristics and identity as a result of demographic and spatial transformation our priority must be for public companies, private companies, non-governmental organizations and the community to work together in order to invigorate our village’s production-related activities and to protect their traditional texture.
There will be important achievements in addition to protecting cultural property with the invigoration of our villages such as economic development and the protection of nature. When we keep in mind that the tourism sector is the flagship of the TRNC’s economy, invigorating villages with alternative tourism models rather than mass tourism will protect our resources and bring life to structures that are currently unutilized.
Recent events such as ‘festivals’ and ‘eco days’ which are organized around certain products of a region as a result of the improvisation of locals can be seen as weak but pioneering efforts in terms of the organization of events that can lead to economic development and the invigoration of rural settlements. Such events can lead to long-term economic gain if they take place under the guidance of central and local leadership with the correct organizational and economic arrangements.
We wish everyone a happy 18 April World Heritage Day where Rural Landscapes are protected and maximum contributions are made to the country’s economy.”