Turkey has taken another important step to improve its economic relations with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce (TOBB) and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) signed a protocol on Tuesday to establish the Turkey-TRNC Chamber of Commerce Forum.
The protocol to establish the joint forum was signed by TOBB President Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu and KKTO President Turgay Deniz after the Turkey-TRNC Economic Affairs meeting in Lefkoşa.
The joint chamber of commerce forum aims to improve dialogue on commercial and economic issues of common interest.
Delivering a speech during the meeting, TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu said the Turkish business world as always would continue to stand by Turkish Cypriots.
"Economy, trade, tourism, education and investment are of course very important, but our brotherly ties are more important, and you are our brothers and our partners in every area," he said. He also noted that they recognize the potential that would strengthen the economic ties between the two countries, adding that the Turkish business world wants Turkish Cypriots to become wealthier and that they were well aware of the unfair isolation that is slowing it down.
The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup took place after decades of violence against the island's Turkish community and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power. It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the latest initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K. that collapsed in 2017.