The foundations for the Middle East University of Technology’s (ODTU) building in Kalkanli near Guzelyurt, were laid on Monday.
Indicating that the aim of the investment is to contribute to the science and technology sector in the TRNC, President Mustafa Akinci, Turkish Ambassador to North Nicosia, Derya Kanbay, Minister of Education, Ozdemir Berova, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Kemal Durust, the ODTU’s rector Mustafa Varsan Kok and ODTU’s TRNC rector, Nazife Baykal were among the participants in the ceremony.
In his address, Akinci said that they were witnessing a very important event which would significantly contribute to the community and the country and added that just like art and culture, science and technology know no boundaries. He said:
“Let us not wait for anyone to lift the embargoes on us. No one is going to do us a favour. They will not say to us ‘we have lifted this and that for you’. However, with such projects we can lift everything we call embargo and we are able to do this. Which power can prevent the use, elsewhere in the world, of very important software which could be developed here? The world will definitely want to acquire anything that is useful to it, regardless of its origin. Actually this could be valid in other fields as well but that is more difficult.”
Noting the fact that the project’s emblem of an olive tree is significant, Akinci said that the olive tree evokes Cyprus and the Mediterranean as well as productivity and fertility. “It also evokes being rooted, existing forever on these lands”, he argued adding that “we have to be developed in order to take root like the olive tree on these lands and exist forever”.
Also addressing the ceremony, Turkish Ambassador to North Nicosia Kanbay stated that a big step has been taken towards the realisation of a target which he had been dreaming about since he came to the island. He said that this project will open the door of a new era which would influence the TRNC’s economic future and its social and political development.