Leigh Turner » Istanbul, Turkey

Festive 50: From “Every Little Bit Hurts” To “Stay With Me”

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It’s a delicate business judging how much personal stuff to put in a blog.  In the past I’ve written official blogs with a rich mix of personal and work entries.  Then Twitter came along and much personal material, such as my famous series #reasonstolikeIstanbul, was swept away into the Twitterverse. I’ve so far tweeted out around 270 #reasonstolikeIstanbul, by the way, on @leighturnerFCO. Many people like personal material in official … Read more »Festive 50: From “Every Little Bit Hurts” To “Stay With Me”

How to get (even) more investment in Turkey

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I recently had the honour to speak on a panel at a Financial Times Conference on International Financial Centres in Istanbul. The conference included an interesting presentation by Turkey’s Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT) on Turkey’s powerful economic fundamentals and the potential benefits for foreign businesses in investing here. British companies have been paying attention.  According to Turkish figures, there are over 2,500 British companies already active in Turkey … Read more »How to get (even) more investment in Turkey

Turkey, the EU and NATO

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I wrote a blog last year called “Why Turkey can be confident”. The point of that blog was to say that, given that Turkey was a large country with a trillion-dollar economy playing an influential role in world affairs, I couldn’t understand why some people argued that events inside Turkey were determined to a large extent by external actors. I was reminded of the reasons why Turkey should feel confident, … Read more »Turkey, the EU and NATO

How bad is corruption in Turkey? (Part 2)

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Back in February 2013 I wrote a blog called “How bad is corruption in Turkey?”  It noted that in the latest Transparency International Corruption Index, published in December 2012, Turkey had improved its ranking by 7 places to 54th place, putting it ahead of some EU countries. In December 2013, Transparency International produced its latest Corruption Perceptions Index.  This showed that Turkey had risen a further place to 53rd out … Read more »How bad is corruption in Turkey? (Part 2)

The British Visa Application Centre in Istanbul – and Ankara – and five other places in Turkey

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I don’t usually write blogs recommending that you immediately click on a link to go somewhere else. But my recent visit to the new British Visa Application Centre in Istanbul leads me to commend to you the blog written earlier this year by Richard Moore, the British Ambassador in Ankara. Richard’s blog is an excellent read, highlighting not only the magnificent scenery, creative buzz and fine cuisine of Britain (including many terrific Turkish restaurants); but … Read more »The British Visa Application Centre in Istanbul – and Ankara – and five other places in Turkey

Fantastic prizes – fully-paid trips to London for entrepreneurs

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I recently wrote about our quest to find the most brilliant Turkish entrepreneurs and invite them to visit London – at our expense. It’s an incredible offer.  Round-trip tickets.  Paid accommodation and meals.  Guided tours.  Visits to venture capitalists. To be honest, we copied it from our colleagues in the British Consulate-General in New York, who have done the same thing for several years to encourage top creative US start-ups to see … Read more »Fantastic prizes – fully-paid trips to London for entrepreneurs

How to finance imports from Britain to Turkey

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Did you know that UK Export Finance (UKEF) can help you finance imports from the United Kingdom?  And that they have their own resident expert, Sinan Ozcan, right here in Turkey, responsible for project business development? UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency.  It works closely with overseas buyers to help them finance purchases from UK suppliers. The basic deal is that UKEF helps overseas buyers access finance … Read more »How to finance imports from Britain to Turkey

Turkey: Cradle of Civilisation(s)

The sculptures are exquisite.  Graceful birds and pouncing animals reminiscent of ancient Egypt are carved onto Stonehenge-sized stone monoliths. But this artwork dates from 6,000 years before the pyramids – or Stonehenge. Welcome to Göbekli Tepe, a Neolithic site about 15 km from Şanlıurfa in south-eastern Turkey. I’ve blogged before about the astonishing history and archaeology of Turkey, including Homage to Cappadocia and Astonishing Anatolia and Gaziantep.  Everywhere you go, fresh – yet ancient … Read more »Turkey: Cradle of Civilisation(s)

We’re looking for the most creative entrepreneurs in Turkey

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This blog is about a competition for Turkish entrepreneurs with fantastic prizes of five fully-paid trips to London’s Tech City and more. Turkey and the UK are full of exciting, innovative companies. We in the UK believe passionately that the exchange of ideas and trade creates stability, prosperity and well-being.  That’s why we strive to bring together Turkish and British companies at every opportunity. Now, following the success of our GREAT … Read more »We’re looking for the most creative entrepreneurs in Turkey

Gay Pride in Istanbul: Why it matters

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Between 23 and 29 June, Istanbul will be once again be the location for the biggest gay pride festival in the region. Last year more than 100,000 people were reported as participating. The European Commission’s progress report in October 2013 commended the fact that Gay Pride marches in recent years had gone ahead in Turkey without disruption. Gay Pride or LGBT Pride celebrates the gay community by combating discrimination and violence … Read more »Gay Pride in Istanbul: Why it matters