The Turkish leather sector will have soon a research and development centre working at international standards. Attempts to establish the International Leather Research and Technology Development Centre have been under way for a long time, but plans were accelerated at a recent meeting held on March 13 in the Kalyon Hotel. Attending the meeting were Professor Dr A D Covington, Northampton University’s professor who designed the infrastructure of the project; Dr Victoria Addy from British Leather Research Center (BLC); Demosthenis Papakonstantinou, an executive from the Elkede Leather Design Research Center; Ozlem Menderes, Chair of the Elkede Department of Leather Technologies and Research; and Nikos Pritsos from the same department.

Together they clarified the technical and administrative infrastructure and the financing of the project which has been designed according to EU requirements. This meeting was also attended by a group of Turkish officials, comprising representatives of the industry and trade ministry, representatives of the State Ministry in charge of Imports, representatives of Prime Ministry EU Secretary-General, representatives of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, academics from Bogazici, Mimar Sinan and Istanbul Universities, as well as chairmen of the leather industry-related associations and foundations. Hasan Yelmen expressed, in his opening speech, his gratitude to the institutions and bodies in their help in establishing the centre. ‘The Leather Research and Development Centre and Accredited Laboratory that we are aiming to establish will be at the service of the entire leather sector nationwide in Türkiye.’ The project will be submitted for EU approval and the monetary allowance will be obtained from the EU as a donation, and technical assistance will be set in motion. This project is generally intended to ‘make the overall leather sector acquire an important and European-styled level’, he noted.