Interview with Redif Nurel | "Demand from Abroad is Increasing!"
Leading contractor, Redif Nurel, who has been responsible for numerous symbolic developments within Kyrenia, being the architect involved in designing the Aquamarine Residence and Shark Residence, both of which have caught the attention of locals and foreign visitors alike.
- When people ask who Redif Nurel is, they identify you with Aquamarine Residence. Aquamarine has now become a symbol of Kyrenia. But how would you identify yourself?
We are identified with above standard constructions, architectural designs that stand out from the surrounding buildings and the use of the best materials. Aquamarine Residence was our first building with a symbolic design and that was then followed by the Bee Tower and Shark Residence. A composite façade cladding was used on these buildings together with long life exterior thermal sheathing and insulation. Whereas, by using natural stone for the exterior façade at our residential sites in Alsancak, we obtained a naturally beautiful image. In other words, we maintain our quality standards with each project and are identified with them.
- As it is the 40th anniversary of the Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors Association (CTBCA), let’s mention the work you carried out as a member of the administrative board. What has the association achieved in 40 years and what do you think are its contributions to the sector?
I served on the administrative board for 16 of these 40 years, in this year’s election however I handed over my position. I have now taken a position on the Construction Council and Build-Sell (Yap-Sat) Committee so I am still involved with the Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors Association (CTBCA). The association started with just 5 to 10 registered contractors and now there are some 400 members. It has been transformed from an amateur operation into a corporate, functioning association and has achieved many things such as supplying working permissions and meeting the needs of contractors. There have been many campaigns on the subject of building control that have been successfully carried out by the Nicosia Municipality, it is hoped that other municipalities will follow.
- If we were to mention current activities of the CTBCA, what has been planned for post Covid-19?
Plans to be applied after the Covid-19 are being discussed. The island has recovered from the pandemic due to precautions taken and now the borders have part opened. There is certainly a large demand from abroad and so we have planned certain conveniences for citizens who live abroad but cannot enter the country due to uncompleted military service for instance. If they make property investments, they will not have to pay to complete their short-term military service. As well as this, the sale of properties located near to military bases to foreign investors is being discussed. Foreign citizens were also forbidden to purchase more than one property; this number has now increased to three. The new administrative board of the association is also working on the approval of these new plans and hopefully they will be finalised as soon as possible. We have also prepared a construction servitude plan and complied building maintenance requirements which are still waiting for approval.
- As a person who has worked in this sector for many years, how would you interpret this period of uncertainty where the world economy has been affected and all borders have been closed?
It is true that during crises like this countries such as ours will suffer economically; we depend on the outside world! Our income sources that are provided by tourism, construction and universities have temporarily stopped. During this time we have realised that more importance should be given to production, especially in the agriculture sector with citrus fruits. Maybe exporting agricultural products, which do not rely on heavy watering, should be increased and for this local investors need to be supported. We have not seen this support up till now. There are no plans to prevent the decrease of bank interest rates either. It seems to me that beneficial procedures have not been accounted for.
- What are your views on the TRNC Construction sector and the Kyrenia real estate market specifically? When compared with what it was 10 years ago, what will Kyrenia be like in the future?
The Kyrenia real estate market was more dynamic 10 years ago. Yes, the population is increasing and a development plan has been applied, but the development plan was based on restrictions. Now this is what is intended to be done for Famagusta, Yeniboğaziçi and İskele. Houses, universities, hotels were built and large investments were made, but the roads were inadequate and the infrastructure was insufficient. Restrictions were made instead of finding solutions and now the construction sector has spread to the West and East of Kyrenia to meet the residential needs. Development plans must be applied in these newly developing areas as soon as possible.