Northern Cyprus has unveiled two versions of a new domestically-produced car that has been in development for many years in a ceremony last week.
The Günsel B9 electric sedan and its SUV version the J9 were presented on stage in blue, red and yellow versions. A research and development team from the island's Near East University in conjunction with the university's automotive engineering department first launched a protoype of the car in 2016.
“We are witnessing a gratifying event in the name of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and I want to congratulate those who brought this wonderful thing into existence,” said Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, speaking at the ceremony.
Turkey's Northern Cyprus Ambassador Ali Murat Başçeri said that the world was at a crossroads in terms of automobile production, and that electric models are slowly emerging on a global scale.
“In this context, we feel happy seeing the same efforts emerging within the scope of the Günsel brand,” Başçeri said.
Near East University's Board of Trustees chairman İrfan Gürsel said that the new autombile marked a major turning point for Northern Cyprus.
“This pride, this car is ours, this pride, this car is yours,” Gürsel said.
Serial production of the Günsel vehicles is expected to begin in 2021.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 after a Turkish military offensive triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. Several peacemaking efforts have failed and the discovery of offshore resources has complicated the negotiations.