046. Tourism in Turkey: more than meets the eye

We ourselves are tourist. Discovering the world is in our DNA.  Sometimes we just wish to be away from it all, leaving one’s home country and enjoy the country of one’s (distant) neighbour. Last year, travel and tourism directly and indirectly contributed to almost 10% of the worldwide GDP, employing over 260 million people. These […]

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. […]


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 […]

016. Sport in Turkey and Dutch Business Opportunities

The World Championship soccer 2014 again showed us the power of sports. Within the Dutch foreign policy sports is playing its role, recently underlined by our minister of Foreign Affairs who referred to soccer diplomacy as a tool of foreign policy. At the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul we organized live screenings of six matches, attracting […]


015. Soccer Diplomacy in Istanbul

Here we are, happy, a bit tired, five victories and 3800 guests later, 8500 bottles of Heineken consumed, 2000 Unilever ice-creams eaten, not to mention the cheese, herring,  nuts and other soccer essentials. I gave a number of interviews on radio and TV, articles have been written and each match the Consul General of the […]


001. Introduction Blog

Since August 2013 I started as Consul-General in Istanbul. In the coming four years I will regularly write blogs about Turkey; mainly regarding economic subjects, although at times political and social matters will also be discussed. After all Turkey is a socially and politically very dynamic country. My objective is not only to provide information […]