The TRNC Union of Municipalities participated in the 34th Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
Mayor of Gönyeli and chairman of the Turkish Cypriot municipalities union Ahmet Benli, said that their relations with Europe in terms of Turkish Cypriot local government, are moving forward.
Noting that they have been working with patience and determination in order that the European Charter of Local self-governance be implemented in the country, Benli said that they had returned with positive impressions from their last meeting in Strasbourg.
Benli was accompanied by North Nicosia Mayor Mehmet Harmanci, the Mayor of Guzelyurt Mahmut Ozcinar and Huseyin Kole, the general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot municipalities union.
According to a press release by the union, the issues on universal human rights and the rights of refugees as it affected local government, were discussed at the Congress.
The Council of Europe again organised a working office for the Turkish Cypriots to use, during the visit; various contacts with European Mayors and members of the Council were held.
Evaluating the session, Benli noted that “the efforts to follow and evaluate the northern part of Cyprus in the sense of local democracy will be continued as well as to form a timetable towards this end”. He also added that they will carry out their work with determination to open the way for the European Charter of Local Self-governance.
Benli added that “local democracy in Cyprus is not limited only to the 30 municipalities in the south, but there are also 28 municipalities in the north providing local services to the public and they are represented by the union of municipalities”.
Finally, Benli said that at every visit, they have gained new ground in their relations with Europe.