1 August 2013 I started to work as the Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Istanbul. An honorable posting in a vibrant country, in an eventful region.
First encounter with Turkey in 1984
My first experience with Turkey was more than 30 years ago, when I traveled through this beautiful country by car, via Istanbul, Antalya and Adana to Baghdad. Ever since, I have been intrigued by the potential of a country that was (especially then) unknown to most of the Dutch.
The Dutch diplomatic network in Turkey
The Dutch diplomatic network in Turkey is extensive with the Embassy in Ankara, The Netherlands Support Office in Izmir, Honorary Consulates in Gaziantep, Marmaris, Izmir and Antalya and of course the Consulate General in Istanbul. This network has many excellent Dutch and Turkish partners with whom we closely collaborate. Priority areas for the Consulate are consular matters and the economy.
Turkish economic debate in a wider perspective
One of the points which I want to address regarding the Turkish economic debate in the Netherlands is to place it in a wider perspective. Dutch companies do not always realize that Turkey can be an interesting market for them. On the other hand too few people in Turkey know of the potential Dutch input for further growth of the Turkish economy.
A meeting place for the Dutch and the Turkish
The Consulate General in Istanbul attaches great importance to hospitality. My predecessors Onno Kervers and Marco Hennis ensured, together with the team on the Consulate General, that guests felt at home. I pursue this tradition with pleasure as Palais the Hollande is an important meeting place for Dutch and Turkish people.
I live in Istanbul with Kim, whom I married in April 2014 and our slightly unpredictable dog Randy. My oldest son went to university in autumn 2015 to study Digital Video Production. My younger son lives in Austria, studying hotel management. My personal ambitions are to explore Turkey, to learn Turkish and to run the half-marathon of Istanbul every year.
You can follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter. I consider social media important as it increases the outreach of this Consulate. You can always approach me. I have noticed that in practice, especially via Twitter, this increasingly happens.
Click here for my CV.