Cars will be banned from the centre of Lefkoşa next Saturday as part of a Europe-wide drive to make cities “healthier, greener and less congested”.
September 19’s Car-Free Day is part of the TRNC’s first European Mobility Week, which will also see a bike tour the following weekend take in both sides of the divided capital.
Lefkoşa Mayor Mehmet Harmanci, whose Lefkoşa Turkish Municipality is organising activities for the special week with the EU Information Point, said they were expecting some opposition from drivers, but urged them: “If people stop and park to join us they will know that to be more active in areas which are pedestrianised will benefit our country, ourselves and our world.”
“We are expecting a good turnout by our community as we are inviting cyclists and everyone who likes to walk, along with children and young people, as we have organised a programme full of fun activities and musical entertainment,” he said.
The city will be closed to vehicles from 10am to 2pm between Girne Gate and the Bandabulya and activities centring on the Sarayönü area will include stalls, and performance by the Latin Orchestra, half-hourly cycling tours from 11.30am and walking tours forming part of a treasure hunt.
There will be more cycling on September 26 when a tour led by Aydın Mehmet Ali and Konstantinos Konstantinou takes participants around the old city and through the Ledra Palace and Lokmaci border checkpoints. It starts at 9.30am from the buffer zone Home For Cooperation (HAC) and finishes at 1.30pm. Spaces are limited and nine bikes will be available for first- come-first-serve reservation at the HAC email email@example.com.