Chairman of the Board
Born in Pelathousa, Cyprus, Keço studied at Unıversity of Leeds in UK, but returned to Cyprus as a volunteer when fighting broke out 1964. In the early 1980s, he opened the Grapevine restaurant in Kyrenia, serving British expatriates. He established SPOT, and with it, the first international interest in sea turtles of Northern Cyprus. In 2015, the International Sea Turtle Society honoured Keço with the Ed Dane Award. The award is dedicated to volunteers who do not seek academic or monetary credit for their voluntary efforts but make a significant contribution to the study and conversation of sea turtles.
Born in Pelathousa, Cyprus, Ilkay is an Oceanographer with a broad career working as a consultant for many international and UN-affiliated institutions. He directed the Institute of Marine Sciences at Turkey’s Middle Eastern Technical University between 1998 and 2003. From 2003 he worked at Near East University where he served on the Board of Trustees and was the Director of the Institute of Basic and Applied Sciences, and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is the founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Kyrenia, and has been Rector of the University since 2013.
Between 2003 and 2005, Robin volunteered on the North Cyprus Marine Turtle Conservation Project (MTCP), while studying for his MSc which investigated the navigational abilities of sea turtles. In 2005 he worked for three years for the British Antarctic Survey, largely at their Bird Island Research Station where he was a Field Assistant working with albatross, penguins and seals, and Winter Base Commander. In 2008 he returned to North Cyprus to lead the MTCP and began to grow the projects research on interactions between fisheries and vulnerable species.