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040. How Dutch investments, polarization, Turkish politics and toilets meet.

The days that we diplomats “did not speak about cheese” are of course long behind us. Economic diplomacy has been a key pillar of our Dutch diplomatic work for many years; a world city like Istanbul is an ideal place for active economic diplomacy and as diplomat one has to be prepared to do show […]

Voetbalversiering in straat

039. Soccer: the most effective instrument in bilateral relations?

Each time I meet Yusuf, my local Turkish grocer, he refers to my nationality. ‘Kuijt! Kuijt!’ he says, while pointing to his blue shirt, adding ‘Fenerbahçe!’, not realizing yet it seems that Kuijt is going to leave for Feijenoord . His colleague usually joins the conversation by challenging his workmate with a firm statement; ‘No. […]

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032. Herring and flowers: typically Turkish

What I like most about my travels and work abroad is that appearances, perceptions and reality are different from what one expects; they change the more when one travels and opens up. The best herring in the Netherland is sold by a Turkish/Dutch company, the Turkish tulip is considered to be Dutch, and Dutch plants […]

http://thejeansblog.com/denim-inspiration/denim-inspiration/

031. Amsterdam is wearing the trousers: sustainable Denim and Turkish investments

The Netherlands, Turkey, Amsterdam,  jeans,  sustainability and making money: on 16 April 2015, part of the international denim industry will start its ‘Denim City Project’ in Amsterdam. We at the Dutch consulate in Istanbul are proud to host its pre-launch next week. “In the near future, sustainability will turn into something imperative rather than being […]

http://www.soukle.com/handshake/

027. “Meet the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs” in Istanbul

A group of thirty students ‘Office Management’ from Rotterdam enters the 18th century church of the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul. Slightly intimidated by the beauty of this ‘house of worship’, the group seems shy at first. As I am on a business trip this time they are received by Jeroen Gankema (head of the Press […]

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026. Tekirdağ: a Business Trip outside the Big City

Yes, a quarter of the GDP in Turkey is generated in and by Istanbul. It is unavoidable to be drawn to the dynamics and potential of Istanbul; Napoleon already said that if there were to be one world capital it should be Constantinople (as Istanbul was known before). And indeed, as a visitor or someone […]

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/what-social-media-can-do-your-business-today

023. Hashtag #Rights365

“Dear guests, my staff asked me to kindly require you to use the following hashtag: #rights365”.  No one looked surprised, most notted it down and used it for their tweets on the 10th December international human rights day seminar at the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul. Amazing how in just a few years social media got […]

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022. Christmas Trees in Istanbul

Christmas shopping at IKEA Istanbul might be a dream outing for some, but it can definitely be a nightmare for others. However, Kim and I had to go, as in this largely Muslim country real Christmas trees are rather rare; I had promised ourselves a real tree this year (in a pot, do not worry) […]

innovation

021. Innovation Week Istanbul

What have glowing marbles, high tech eco-efficient Isa cars, fancy dresses with wearable solar design, solar tiles and every one’s favorite chocolate printers to do with Turkey? What are Daan Roosegaarde and Pauline van Dongen up to in Istanbul? What are all these colleagues from the Embassy in Ankara doing in the Consulate? Why do […]

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020. About the Bosporus

Mid November is the annual Istanbul Marathon. Its main attraction is running from Asia to Europe, across the “first” bridge, high above the Bosporus. This year I joined 10,000’s runners. After the bridge the sign “welcome to Europe” greeted us. The Bosporus is quite a waterway: romantically beautiful, with spectacular houses and castles on its […]