Congratulatory Message to Ali Tuncay & Takis Hadjidemetriou on being awarded the 2015 European Citizen Award

January 1, 2021

Nicosia, 9 October 2015 – The United Nations Development Programme in Cyprus wishes to express its warmest congratulations to Mr. Takis Hadjidemetriou and Mr. Ali Tuncay on being awarded the European Citizen Prize 2015.

The European Citizen’s Prize is awarded by the European Parliament every year to projects and initiatives that facilitate cross-border cooperation or promote mutual understanding within the EU. The prize, which has symbolic value, is also intended to acknowledge the work of those who through their day-to-day activities promote European values.

UNDP in Cyprus is pleased that Mr. Hajidemetriou and Mr. Tuncay’s efforts within the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage meet this description.

Since 2010 UNDP has been working closely with both Mr. Hadjidemetriou and Mr. Tuncay in Cyprus to protect and preserve the island’s cultural heritage and to promote confidence building. In doing so, Mr. Hadjidemetriou and Mr. Tuncay faced some key challenges. The first, as they describe it was “transforming highly sensitive areas for people and society, such as churches and mosques, from conflict and confrontation to spaces of cooperation”. The second, the urgent historical and cultural responsibility of preserving a common heritage in great danger of being lost.

Many important projects that UNDP in Cyprus is currently implementing on behalf of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, such as the restoration of the Monastery of Apostolos Andreas or the about-to-begin conservation of Agios Panteleimonas Monastery would not have been possible without their personal restless mediation.

At UNDP, we are delighted to see their commitment and dedication recognized through the European Citizen Award and we are proud to be working with them and with all the colleagues from the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and the European Commission to make their vision a reality.

The inspirational work of Mr. Hadjidemetriou and Mr. Tuncay demonstrates that each of us can make an enormous difference for the better in protecting our common heritage and building a common future.

It is our hope that, through this prize, and through showcasing the excellent results achieved so far by the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, even more people in Cyprus and elsewhere, will be motivated to make such a difference.

This press release has originally been published on October 9, 2015.