Cyprus, one of the most important ports for seafarers throughout every period of history with its location in the center of the Eastern Mediterranean, is getting the Maritime History Museum, which will be the first floating ship museum of the island, with the initiative of the Near East Enterprises.
Maritime History Museum TEAL, which will host more than 5 thousand materials such as maritime objects, ship models, nautical maps, pictures and photographs, was placed to the special area built in Kyrenia Harbor with a magnificent ceremony.
Many guests attended the ceremony, which was held with the participation of the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Erhan Arıklı. The construction of the special area where the Maritime History Museum TEAL will welcome its visitors at the Port of Kyrenia has been completed by the teams of the Near East Enterprises. Completed with a hard work, a significant part of the construction which the teams carried out was underwater; 3,500 cubic meters of concrete was used in the construction of the area, which is 56 meters long, 10 meters wide and 4 meters deep.
TEAL, which was produced at Liverpool shipyards in 1955 to be used as a minesweeper in the United Kingdom Navy, was transferred to the Australian Navy after many years of use in the British Navy. TEAL, which also served here as a military ship, continued to be used in different areas such as passenger transportation, fishing and water sports tourism in Tanzania and the Caribbean after its retirement. In 1994, it was brought to the TRNC to be used as a Training and Research Ship at the Near East University Maritime Faculty. TEAL, which is also used as a training and research ship within the University of Kyrenia Maritime Faculty, will continue to serve as a museum to the maritime history of which it is an important part.
At the ceremony where TEAL was placed into its new home in Kyrenia Harbor, Near East Initiative Chairman of the Board of Trustees Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel and Minister of Public Works and Transport Erhan Arıklı made speeches.
Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel: “As the Near East Enterprises, our biggest concern is art and artwork; making art an indispensable part of the daily life of the people and making it one of the most important veins that we gain strength as we walk to the future.”
Starting his speech by saying that maritime is a very important part of Cyprus’ identity due to its location and historical role, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Near East Entrprises Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel said, “We did not have a comprehensive Maritime History Museum that would reflect our rich maritime culture and history. This situation was a great shortcoming and loss for our country and region.” Prof. Dr. Günsel said, “We are proud and happy to transform TEAL into a floating Maritime History Museum in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and get rid of this deficiency by our training ship TEAL, which has trained dozens of captains in our Near East and Kyrenia Universities for 27 years.”
“Seeing art and culture as an elite pursuit of a small community is the worst evil that can be done to a society, to say the least,” said Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel and added, “As the Near East Enterprises, our biggest effort is to destroy this perception and create art and artwork; to make it an indispensable part of the daily life of the people; to ensure that it is adopted and to make it one of the most important veins that we gain strength as we walk towards the future.”
Expressing his satisfaction that the Maritime History Museum will be located in Kyrenia Port, one of the important gates of Northern Cyprus, Prof. Dr. Günsel said, “I would like to thank the Ministry of Public Works and Transport for their support for this precious investment that we have brought to our country.”
Congratulating the construction unit operating within the Near East Enterprises, which carried out the construction works at the Kyrenia Port, Prof. Dr. Günsel said, “I sincerely congratulate all of our team, in particular, Mr. Ömer Başaranlar, General Coordinator of Near East Enterprises Constructions, and Yiğit Gürdal, Civil Engineer, who finished a very special and difficult project blamelessly.”
Erhan Arıklı: “I am honored to be among you as we take a big step towards the establishment of the Maritime History Museum.”
Starting his speech by saying that he was honored to be at such an important opening, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Erhan Arıklı, shared a memory he had with Near East University Founding Rector Dr. Suat Günsel years ago. Arıklı said that he has good relations with Azerbaijan, and years ago, when he asked Dr. Suat Günsel to establish a university in Azerbaijan, he received the answer, “I am a citizen of these lands, I will invest every penny I earn in these lands.”
Reminding that they visited GÜNSEL on the Near East University campus with the Council of Ministers recently, Minister Arıklı said, “There, Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel presented such a projection that we listened with admiration together with all my fellow ministers. Consider that despite all our efforts, in a country that exports only 110 million dollars a year and has a deficit of 1.1 billion dollars, by 2030, the foreign trade surplus will exceed 1 billion dollars. It is our duty to protect this project with great pride.”
Emphasizing that the Günsel Family has brought a lot to the country with its visionary projects, Erhan Arıklı concluded his speech by saying, “I am honored to be among you as we take a big step towards the establishment of the Maritime History Museum, which is a very important and visionary project here.”