For many years the benches leading up to the lighthouse in the old Kyrenia harbour were in a state of neglect and disrepair. Last year they were replaced with 26 new benches as part of a 20 year contract between the government and a private firm, agreed by the former Tourism Minister. However, the new Tourism Minister, Mehmet Harmanci, recently reviewed the contract and felt that a 20 year contract was not appropriate. In particular, the benches had been covered in advertising which Mr Harmanci felt detracted from the overall look of the harbour.
Mr Harmanci has made a statement to the press, saying that the new government had been in consultation with the firm who supplied the benches but could not reach a suitable agreement with them. The supplier then, in a surprise move last week, without any further discussion, dismantled all 26 benches.
Mr Harmanci feels the harbour will benefit from these latest developments as new benches will fit in better with the ambience of the old harbour. In addition he felt that the old contract at 20 years was far too long and other firms will now tender for the contract, saving state expenses.