066 What will the economy bring Turkey in 2017 (and 2018)?

“A predicted economic crisis always comes later than expected, but when it finally arrives it will happen much faster than anticipated” Introduction Predicting the direction of the Turkish economy in the coming few years is not an easy task. Turkey is a multi-layered country on the crossroads of three continents, finding itself not only in […]

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056 Kapalıçarşı/The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul

Almost 100 mln visitors per year and a rent of 3,500 usd per month per m2: this truly is Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, in Turkey known as Kapalıçarşı, the oldest shopping centre in the world and world’s most visited tourist destination. Its construction was ordered by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1455, two years after his conquest […]

2016

055 The Turkish economy: what will happen in 2016?

The future is the most difficult part of forecasting. An old joke, true as ever, especially in Turkey. Herewith an overview of some macro-economic developments in 2015 and my (partly) personal predictions for 2016. And some observations on the structural road ahead. Summary/base scenario: Turkey is set to become one of the five largest economies […]

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054. Turkey innovation week Istanbul/Holland partner country I

Top -5’s: to be in the top of any of the globally comparative lists seems to be a (well hidden) objective of the Dutch. We might be known as to be an egalitarian society, where no one should stick his/her head above the ‘maaiveld’ (as then it will be cut off), but as a collective […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]