Blog_Bursa

053. What diplomats do – Trade mission to Bursa 12 and 13 October

Nothing beats the happy faces of a business delegation that has to leave very, very early in the morning, but then is offered fresh coffee. As part of the Holland Turkey Business Tour 2015, a large group of mainly local Dutch business people and colleagues went to Bursa on 12 and 13 October. On the […]

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, […]

Tourism

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 […]

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043. Turkish Investments in the Netherlands: On The Move

“Turkish take-overs of Dutch companies are rare.” That’s what the Dutch Financial Newspaper ‘Financieel Dagblad’ wrote on the 22th of July. I disagree with the title of that article, since Turkish business interests in the Netherlands have been growing rapidly over the past year. Direct investments increase while more and more Turkish take-overs of Dutch […]

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. […]

Idahot1

037. IDAHOT in Istanbul

When the first Dutch ambassador in Constantinople arrived in 1612 he had a double assignment: to sign economic treaties and to free Christian slaves. Working like me for the Dutch foreign ministry in 21st century, it is reassuring that these two main pillars of our foreign policy have remained the same during all these centuries: […]

Flevoland

036. Agriculture/Turkey and The Netherlands: partners by choice and destiny

Some weeks ago President Erdoğan announced Turkey’s aim to increase agricultural revenue to 150 billion US dollars and increase agricultural exports to 40 billion US dollars by 2023. Ambitious? Yes. Realistic? No doubt about it. Turkey’s agri-cultural potentials Turkey combines a great geographical location with a fertile country and many different climate zones, enabling basically […]

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 […]