By KEREM HASAN
The annual Cyprus leg of the European Rally (ERC) and Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) will be held between June 16 and 18, with a race track for cars to speed from South Nicosia through Taksim stadium and close to Ledra Palace Hotel, into Lefkoşa.
Lefkoşa Turkish Municipality announced last Thursday the start of groundwork for the rally following a meeting with the North Cyprus Touring Automobile Association (KKOK) and other TRNC authorities about the event that is watched each year by a TV audience of millions in addition to local residents and visitors lining the route.
“A coordination meeting was held with the Health and Foreign ministries, Information and Sports departments, Civil Defence Organisation, Lefkoşa District Office, Değirmenlik Municipality, Security Forces, Lefkoşa Turkish Municipality departments, the police and mayor Mehmet Harmancı,” said a statement.
“As the Lefkoşa special stage held in previous years was successful, a decision was taken to hold it again this year and to include special stages in (the areas of) Balıkesir and Vadili.”
Mr Harmancı said: “We will be working to create a perfectly organised occasion.
“We have been hosting this fantastic event since 2014 and it has introduced great activity to Lefkoşa. The Cyprus Rally is a leg of both the ERC and MERC and we are honoured and proud to have started work in preparation for these great events . . . which promote cooperation and solidarity.”
Last year, rally competitors covered some 822km in Cyprus over 14 special stages, including the cross-border “Super Special Stage” which saw drivers race past the Venetian, Ottoman and British-era buildings of Lefkoşa.
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