The Turkish Cyprus Chamber of Artisans and Shopkeepers was officially established in 1993 by passing its own law in the Parliament. Many artisan and shopkeeper associations and unions in the country dissolved themselves and joined the Chamber. After its establishment, the members of the Chamber, Board of Directors and Chamber Assembly continued their voluntary work with a single staff for a long time. The bankruptcy wave experienced after the great economic crisis in 2001 caused the Chamber to increase its work, so many shopkeepers and artisans actively contributed to the Chamber with their work. Working effectively during the Annan Plan and referendum period in 2003-2004, the Chamber increased its visibility tremendously.
The period of 2004-2010 was a period of increasing the institutionalism and the number of professional staff of the Chamber and making a breakthrough. The Chamber, which gradually increased the number of employees in this process, carries its corporate structure to the top by building its own Industrial Site with 47 workplaces and the new Chamber building, in addition to its efforts for division of labour, formation of committees and widespread organization. During this period, the Chamber ensures the completion of many studies that will benefit the country's artisans and shopkeepers; Mastership (highest professional position in order to be proficient to open a technical skill required businesses) Certificate becomes a legal requirement for opening a business in artisan professions; By contributing to the formation and development of 16 different sectoral and regional unions, the chamber ensures that the struggle of shopkeepers and artisans becomes more organized. The Chamber carries out important practices in creating credit opportunities for artisans and shopkeepers in order to increase the product and service quality of enterprises.
The Chamber, which is always involved in social issues, has undertaken an important struggle in the opening of the Lokmaci Barricade and its struggle has yielded a positive result.
It successfully carries out practices in many fields in cooperation with almost all Ministries and departments. The Chamber have signed protocols and engages in collaborative practices with the European Union, UNOPS, USAID, Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, Shopkeepers and Artisans Chambers Unions in various provinces of Turkey.
In the period of 2009-2010, TCCSA completed all the necessary works for the establishment of the Apprenticeship and Adult Education Centre in cooperation with various institutions including EU and thus made a meaningful breakthrough in vocational education. Those years, the Chamber established the KTEZO Solidarity and Assurance Cooperative in order to provide low-interest loans to shopkeepers and artisans, as well as the Apprenticeship and Adult Education Center.
As the capacity of the Apprenticeship and Adult Education Center was insufficient due to high demand, our Chamber started the construction of a new school in 2015 with a capacity of 1500 students, including workshops, dining hall, meeting seminar hall, sports areas and it was opened in 2017. We changed the name of our school to “Taner Akcan Apprenticeship and Adult Education Center”, in reference to our Chamber Secretary General, whom we lost at an early age. In addition to apprenticeship training, "adult education" for adult students has also started at our school.
The chamber has intensified its practices on regional development since 2012. Cooperating with the EU in the formulation of many regional development strategies, KTEZO started to work by choosing the Karpaz region for a pilot application. After the feasibility studies, it was concluded that if olive and grape products are processed and marketed in this region, they will contribute to the development of the region. After this point, Büyükkonuk Olive Producers Agricultural Cooperative based in Büyükkonuk (Komi Kebir) and KAS-KOOP grape cooperative based in Mehmetçik (Galatia) were established. In addition to these, the "Umbrella Cooperative" EZKOOP (Shopkeepers, Artisans and Producers Marketing Cooperative) was established and started operations in 2017, aiming to market the products of these producers and provide technical support to the producers. For the last three years, our olive oil, Taş Değirmen, has been sold both in the domestic market and in the Australian and UK markets. In 2020, our zivaniya(a local alcoholic drink similar to Aqua Vitta in Italy) product named Alaf was launched in Mehmetçik (Galatia).
Our chamber continues its work to ensure that these and similar institutional practices are permanent and more diversified. All the works carried out have a perspective for healthy functioning of these systems by establishing permanent systems and institutions for the benefit of the society with the shopkeepers and artisans. Our Chamber ‘s actions based on the awareness that short-term works and individual solutions are not enough and good for our members and society in the long term. For this reason, TCCSA prioritizes practices that will be permanent and will continuously benefit the society.