Erosion

059 Erosion of emotions

17th February: the staff of the Consulate was preparing a farewell dinner for the CFO of Unilever Turkey. As usual they smiled, but their minds were clearly somewhere else. An hour earlier a bomb had exploded, in Ankara. 28 deaths and many injured. In my broken Turkish we talked about terror attacks, children and their […]

Karagoz and Hacivat

058 Humor (and politics)

Jokes, humor and satire: essential in order to cope with life. How would Soviet citizens for example have survived their darkest years without great satire? Humor relieves tension, jokes can contain harsh messages, but in a more pleasant wrapping and therefore more acceptable (as many managers know). Turkey has a long tradition of cartoons and […]

Sustainable-supply-chain

057 Contributing to a just world/elimination of extreme poverty

Sustainable Development Goals, the post 2015 development agenda, involvement of companies, John Ruggie, UN and where Turkey and The Netherlands team up.   Why does a person have a job, why do we want/need to earn money? Paying one’s mortgage, taking care of one’s loved ones and/or self-development, all worthwhile reasons. One could also use […]

IMG_1143

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 […]

Ecomotive_Blog

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 […]

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 […]

Social Media

052. Social Media, diplomats and Turkey

No tweet, no result; no picture, no meeting; no #hashtag, no professionalism. Blogging is hip, infographics are already mainstream and every respectable company has a CDO (Chief Digital Officer). I turned ‘social’ some years ago; a colleague of another Consulate in Hong Kong urgently needed donors with a special blood type. He phoned around and […]

perapalace

051. Pera Palace – fin de siècle in 2015

My wedding ring? I gave it to my wife in Pera Palace. Where else? Several of my blogs are about the rapid modernization of Istanbul’s infrastructure. Istanbul however is also a city of history that spans three millennia. Near the Dutch Consulate, just a few minutes away is Pera Palace, one of the ‘1000 places […]

Sea of Marmara

050. A Turkish Randstad, with a blue heart

I travel a lot in Turkey, just as I did over 30 years ago, when I visited Turkey for the first time. The hospitality of its people, the historic sites and natural wonders remain the same, but the infrastructure has changed dramatically. In the ‘80’s there was just one Bosporus crossing, while by the end […]