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Continued division impedes trade, says Turkish Cypriot official

Turgay Deniz, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce

The continued division of the island has a negative effect on all aspects of life including trade, the new chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce said in an interview.

Turgay Deniz said the chamber has been working with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce to help resolve the problem and was looking forward to mutually beneficial trade relations and new opportunities.

In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, Deniz said the current political climate is not favourable; it would be difficult to ask for help to develop trade relations when the leaderships were exchanging accusations over the stalled reunification talks.

“But we continue with meetings and contacts,” he said. “We are ready and waiting to be able to advance our cooperation.”

Deniz said new joint projects will be announced at the first opportunity.

He said Turkish Cypriots were more affected by the stalemate although Greek Cypriots also missed out. Turkey, he said, is an important player when it came to commerce but Greek Cypriot businesses could not capitalise on that.

“Greek Cypriots can benefit from the advantage of trading with Turkey but they don’t do it,” he said.

Deniz suggested that a new process must be agreed for the talks to be fruitful.

“I don’t believe we will have a result if the talks continue the same way. Would the result be permanent if there are different approaches as regards the solution of the problem? I don’t know that either.”

What was clear, he added, is that as long as the Cyprus problem remained unsolved, trade and life in general was negatively affected.

The two communities have been trading since 2004 through the Green Line Regulation but volumes remain low.


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