Turkish Cypriot
Chamber of Commerce

Brussels Representation Newsletter

ISSUE 21, 31 January 2016


KTTO Brussels Representation Office Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) Brussels Representation Office celebrated its 10th anniversary on the 9th of December 2015 in the beautiful Royal Museum of Arts and History in Brussels. The event was attended by officials from the EU institutions, Ambassadors and diplomats from the permanent representations and delegations to the EU as well as private sector representative associations. READ MORE

Cyprus Leaders met at the World Economic Forum at Davos

Cyprus leaders participated in the “Reunifying Cyprus” panel at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos held on 20-23 January 2016. The joint appearance at the Forum was unprecedented.

In their joint address to around 2500 high level participants attending to the Forum’s Annual Meeting, His Excellency Mustafa Akıncı, the Turkish Cypriot leader, and His Excellency Nicos Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot leader, confirmed that they were working hard to achieve a mutually acceptable solution and that a settlement could be reach in 2016. “… we are aware that this is the last trial for uniting our island” emphasized Akıncı.
A united Cyprus could be a symbol of peace and cooperation in a fragmenting world and would represent significant economic opportunities was one of the most important messages given at the panel. “We will continue our hard work to put an end to the Cyprus problem and pave the way for new economic opportunities that will bring prosperity to our turbulent region” said Akıncı, “to that end the international support shall be needed in terms of financial and technical assistance” he added.



International media attention on “working in the other community”

Internships of young Cypriots in the other community continue to receive attention from local and international media institutions. Within the framework of the EU-funded Leading By Example Project, which is implemented jointly by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEBE). The cross-community internship scheme matched 24 Turkish and Greek Cypriot young professionals to carry out their internships in the other community. The internships have already started.

Two journalists from the German ZDF television visited a Turkish Cypriot host company where a Greek Cypriot young professional continues to do her 3-month internship since November. Speaking to ZDF, Yiangi Yiangou, who studied both psychology and sociology said “it is a great experience for me; not only that I am getting a work experience but I am also improving my Turkish. I made great friends too”. Memduh Erişmen, Director of Lipa Consultancy is also happy about Yiangi’s contributions and progress. “She accommodated herself from day one” he said. “Our company is preparing itself for the post-solution era and I think it is very important to create a multi-cultural, multi-lingual working environment at Lipa” Erişmen added.

Also speaking to ZDF, Kemal Baykalli, Deputy Secretary General of KTTO explained that the cooperation of the two Chambers on creating awareness about the economic benefits of reconciliation is not new. Baykalli said that the EU funded Leading By Example equipped the Chambers with creative tools to this end. Commenting on the internship program, “we have been receiving very positive feedback both from the interns and companies, we believe we are the pioneers of what is to follow after a solution” Baykalli concluded.


KTTO organizes its third Entrepreneurship Summit 

The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) organised its third Entrepreneurship Summit in collaboration with the Turkish Economy Bank (TEB) on the 18th of November 2015. The summit, which took place at the KTTO Conference Hall, received a lot of interest and participation from our members, local authorities and university students. The Summit hosted experts on entrepreneurship and successful entrepreneurs from different fields of business in North Cyprus.

UN Secretary General commends the reconciliation efforts of the Cypriot Chambers of Commerce

The Secretary General  urges for the implementation of the private sector driven confidence building initiatives, mobile phone interconnectivity among others, without further delay. 

In its report on the United Nations (UN) operations in Cyprus dated 6th of January 2016, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon emphasized the importance of the confidence building measures for the successful conclusion of the comprehensive settlement process and commended the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEBE) for providing a model for cooperation and advocating actively for a solution to the Cyprus problem.


Cypriot cheese should unite the Cypriots

“PDO registration process of  Hellim/Halloumi  should be dealt with a vision and prospect of a “United Federal Cyprus” and to the economic benefit of both Communities” said Fikri Toros, President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce. He urged for the common understanding reached between the two Cypriot leaders on the issue to be respected and for the adoption of the Commission proposal at the EU Council without further delay.

Following the application of the South Cyprus to register
Hellim/Halloumi as a Protected Designation of Origin  (PDO) in the EU, 
a Common Understanding on a temporary solution for Hellim/Halloumi, to be implemented pending the reunification of Cyprus, has been reached between the two leaders under the guidance of President Juncker on 16 July 2015.

In line with the Common Understanding,  on 28 July 2015, the PDO application was published in the EU Official Journal (OJ) to register the names Hellim/Halloumi for the whole territory of Cyprus and parallel to this, the Commission has adopted 
a proposal to modify the Green Line Regulation (GLR) in order to facilitate trade and to establish the manner in which the control mechanism for goods covered by a name registered under the EU Regulation No 1151/2012 would be applied in the North.

“The adoption of the proposal by the Commission was the first step. However, for the Common Understanding to be fully respected, the adoption of the proposal by the Council of the EU is necessary” said Toros. “As it is with this essential step that the political understanding between the two leaders will be fully transposed into law and provide the legal basis for the operation of the PDO in the North” he emphasized.

Following the publication of the PDO application in the OJ, the objection procedure which had started, was finalized on 28 December 2016. However, the Commission’s proposal to amend the GLR has not yet been put on the Council’s agenda for adoption.

Calling for the proposal’s adoption by the Council without further delay, Toros said “ It is of utmost importance that all sides concerned work towards ensuring the successful registration of Hellim/Halloumi as a PDO to the economic benefit of both Communities. Any approach that would undermine this would pose a serious threat to the confidence building efforts between the two Communities on the island and would affect the settlement talks adversely” stated Toros.

Hoping that the issue would be resolved soon, Toros also said it would be one of their priorities to cooperate with South Cyprus as well as the European Commission to develop an action plan for the eradication of animal diseases and to increase the sheep and goats milk production in order to meet the specifications required for the PDO at the end of the 10 year transitionary period.

KTTO Brussels Representation Office celebrated its 10th anniversary with a distinguished crowd

About Us

Established in 1958, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) is an internationally-recognized organization, representing the Turkish Cypriot business community at home and abroad. 


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