Warships

044. Warships sailing the Turkish straits: international law at work

The Black Sea is of crucial economic and strategic importance for its littoral states and so are of course the Turkish straits (Bosporus and the Dardanelles). Day in day out, year in year out, they remain open for traffic, connecting the Black Sea with the Mediterranean Sea and from there to the rest of the […]

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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 […]

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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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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: […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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030. Maritime love: Europort Istanbul, 11-14 March 2015

Dutch and water. All what people say about us is true. We did create almost half of our country and 70% of our GDP is produced below sea-level. In the process of creating the Netherlands we had to cooperate even with those we did not like; this explains how we developed the world famous ‘polder […]