In the present study, a total of 252 Enterococcus (E.) isolates from raw milk and white cheese samples were identified using the method of DEVRIESE et al. (1996) and API 20 Strep kits were used for confirmation of the isolates. Of 252 enterococci isolated from the samples, 62.6 % were E faecalis, 30.1 % were E faecium and 7.1 % were E durans. Depending on Enterococcus species, 95.6 to 100 % of the isolates could be grown at +7 degrees C. It was found that 91.7 %, 71.0 % and 72.2 % of the E faecalis, E faecium and E durans isolates also showed proteolytic activity at psychrotrophic temperatures. The rate of lipolytic activity at +30 degrees C was low in these enterococci species. Resistance to vancomycin and teicoplanin was seen in 67.0 % and 58.2 % of the E faecalis, and in 85.5 % and 46.0 % of the E faecium isolates, respectively. Over 90 % of all E faecalis and E faecium isolates were resistant to oxacillin, streptomycin and erythromycin. The results suggest that enterococci are proteolytic rather than lipolytic and that vancomycin resistant enterococci are emerging as a global threat to public health.