Social Media

052. Social Media, diplomats and Turkey

No tweet, no result; no picture, no meeting; no #hashtag, no professionalism. Blogging is hip, infographics are already mainstream and every respectable company has a CDO (Chief Digital Officer). I turned ‘social’ some years ago; a colleague of another Consulate in Hong Kong urgently needed donors with a special blood type. He phoned around and […]

perapalace

051. Pera Palace – fin de siècle in 2015

My wedding ring? I gave it to my wife in Pera Palace. Where else? Several of my blogs are about the rapid modernization of Istanbul’s infrastructure. Istanbul however is also a city of history that spans three millennia. Near the Dutch Consulate, just a few minutes away is Pera Palace, one of the ‘1000 places […]

Kapel

049. The Chapel at the Dutch Consulate General in Istanbul: a place of work and worship

Strolling down the busy Istikal Caddesi, as every day 1-2 million people do, you might not notice a small chapel hidden behind the walls of the Dutch Consulate General, part of the intriguing history of Istanbul, city of Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders and Ottomans. This beautiful chapel on the Consulate grounds is not only a church, […]

047. World Press Photo

047. World Press Photo: a partner in Dutch human rights policy

Who doesn’t know the picture of a man standing in front of a tank at the Tiananmen Square or the one showing a little girl running away after a napalm attack in Vietnam? Both of these photos where once winning contributions at the annual World Press Photo contest. World Press Photo is a Dutch non-profit […]

Iftar at the consulate

041. ‘Iftar’ at the Dutch Consulate General

All over the world, Muslims are celebrating Ramadan. This holy month is observed by many Muslims with fasting, spiritual reflection and solidarity with the poor. Just before the sun sets and the ‘azan’ resounds from Istanbul’s innumerable minarets, friends and families gather around their dinner tables. The streets and squares of the city fill up […]

wc

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. […]

Suprising Istanbul

038. Surprising Istanbul: a timeless city

‘Either I conquer Constantinople or Constantinople conquers me,’ Fatih Sultan Mehmet II, the seventh Ottoman Sultan, once said. He was a key figure in the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, creating a world power. In 1453, at the age of 21, he as first Muslim conquered Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) and realized a centuries’ old dream […]

dodenherdenking

035. 4th of May commemoration in Istanbul

‘The secret of happiness is freedom – the secret of freedom is courage’  (Thucydides)  ‘I know how it feels to be deprived of liberty. Therefore I will, as long as I live, commemorate our liberators. We need to pass on the hard lessons we have learned from the history to our children and grandchildren,’ Joop […]

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034. Dear Turkish Student: “Studying in the Netherlands should be on your shortlist”

The Netherlands is, according to rankings (I know, rankings have limited value, but when the Netherlands ranks high I like them…), one of the best countries for foreign students to study. This applies to both academic level and cost of studying and living. This fact is however hardly known outside the Netherlands. The world will […]