Kenan Nafi is the new President of the Council of Turkish Cypriot Associations

The UK’s biggest umbrella body for Turkish Cypriots, the Council of Turkish Cypriot Associations UK (CTCA), has a new head.

Kenan Nafi’s candidacy was unopposed and he was formally elected President of the voluntary managed organisation at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday, 14 May.

Nafi will serve a two-year term as President. He takes over from Fahri Zihni, who stepped down at the start of this year for personal reasons, with Cetin Ramadan providing cover as Acting President until CTCA held its AGM at the weekend.

Speaking to T-VINE earlier this week, Nafi, an insurance broker by profession, said the priorities for him and his new committee is, “To use our experience and knowledge to work more closely and effectively with our member associations and Turkish schools, and to strengthen CTCA’s relationships with our community across Britain.”

He said the CTCA was busy organising its annual major event, an outdoor summer festival that returns after an enforced three-year break due to the Covid pandemic.

Nafi said, “My team and I are working hard to organise this year’s big Turkish Cypriot Cultural Festival at Donkey Lane, Enfield. We want everyone to come along to the festival on [Sunday] 2nd July and enjoy our fantastic culture. We will have both traditional and contemporary activities and entertainment on show, so it will be a fun day out for people of all ages in the community.”

New CTCA Committee

After being formally approved as the new CTCA President at the AGM, Nafi introduced his new eight-person committee who will work with him for the duration of his two year term, from 2023 to 2025.

Kenan Nafi – President

Halil Izzet – Vice President

Ilker Giritlioglu – Vice President

Behiye Karaman Naci – Honorary Treasurer

Duygu Tagmac – Media & Press Advisor

Sibel Kazim – Honorary Secretary

Taskin Ismet – Assistant Honorary Secretary

Suheyla Kemal – Officer

Onur Ibrahim – Officer

About Kenan Nafi

Kenan Nafi came to Britain from the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) in 1999. He was born in Akıncılar (Luricina) in 1976, and his family moved to the nearby village of Akdoğan, in Famagusta district, where he grew up.

After completing his education in the TRNC, Nafi decided to follow his family members to a life in London. He has been working in the insurance sector since 2006, going on to become a partner at ESL Insurance in 2013.

Kenan Nafi at the CTCA Turkish Cypriot Cultural Festival in 2017.


Nafi told T-VINE his first involvement with the British Turkish community was in 2013, attending “Turkish festivals in order to promote my insurance brokerage with my business partners.”

In 2017, he was invited by CTCA’s then vice-presidents, Tuğrul Yiğitoğlu and Işık Vedat, to get involved behind the scenes and help organise CTCA’s inaugural festival, which was a huge success.

“This was the opportunity for me to give something back to the Turkish Cypriot community”

“I was excited to be part of the team as I knew this was the opportunity for me to give something back to the Turkish Cypriot community,” Nafi said.

“In the same year, I joined Leyla {Kemal] Hanim’s CTCA committee as an active member. When Ertuğrul [Mehmet] Bey became the new CTCA chair in 2019, he chose me to be one of two Vice Presidents on his committee. A year later, when Ayse [Osman] Hanim became Acting President, I served as her Vice President too.”

Nafi took a break from CTCA affairs last year after losing his father, Mustafa Nafi. However, he returned to help Cetin Ramadan in the wake of Fahri Zihni’s sudden departure in January, less than a year into his term as president.

The new CTCA president took the opportunity to wish a “Happy 19 May Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day to all Turkish youth.”

Underlining CTCA’s slogan: “United we achieve more!”, Nafi also called on more British Turkish Cypriots to get involved with the CTCA, either as volunteers or as businesspeople who want to support the community.