Leigh Turner » Istanbul, Turkey

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

Helping your business grow internationally

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“The astonishing thing is that UKTI offers such a fantastic set of resources to help companies.” I’m at an export promotion event in the North of England.  The speaker is a British exporter who has been working with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) for years.  He is keen to persuade other British businesses to do likewise. I blogged recently about the challenge of bringing together the local knowledge of posts … Read more »Helping your business grow internationally

Reptiles, fairies, conspiracies and cock-ups

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Did US spacecraft Apollo 11 really land on the moon in July 1969?  Was the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, an accident?  Are many world leaders in fact shape-shifting reptilians? Back in August I wrote a blog called “Why Turkey can be confident”.  I set out why I was so impressed by this wonderful, welcoming country; and by the hard work, business acumen, passion, cuisine, history and culture of Turks. I got … Read more »Reptiles, fairies, conspiracies and cock-ups

Gravity and the Artificial Pancreas: GREAT Festival of Creativity meets Istanbul

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A woman drifts terrified in space, gazing down on earth.  A factory turns out millions of computers for $25 each.  A craftsman explains why high-tech car design still starts with a sculpted clay model. We’re at “The Seed” in Emirgan, north of Istanbul.  Far below, the blue waters of the Bosphorus sparkle.  On the terrace above, hundreds of British and Turkish creative types are meeting to discuss business opportunities and … Read more »Gravity and the Artificial Pancreas: GREAT Festival of Creativity meets Istanbul

Beautiful Britain: My Photos of Lundy Island

I don’t usually write about my holidays in this blog, and I won’t now.  But I’ve written recently about how beautiful Britain is and about the English paradise which is Lundy Island (my video on YouTube, which is unfortunately banned in Turkey at present).  Since I have just visited Lundy Island again on holiday, it’s a good excuse to publish a few photos of the island.  Lundy is a spectacular and off-beat place for … Read more »Beautiful Britain: My Photos of Lundy Island

Why Ukraine matters and what happens next

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Heavily armed Russian troops seize Crimea, part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine with a population similar to Latvia and an area larger than Israel.  President Putin says Crimea “has always been an inalienable part” of Russian territory; and announces its permanent annexation. How should we respond? I’ve just returned to Istanbul from four weeks working in London on the Ukraine Crisis.  I was posted in Ukraine from 2008-2012, and … Read more »Why Ukraine matters and what happens next

Brilliant Turkish women

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Are women better at business than men?   I found myself asking this question after visiting KAGIDER,  the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey, here in Istanbul.   KAGIDER is a fine organisation.  A group of top women business types set it up in 2002.  Its goals include developing entrepreneurship among women; strengthening women’s status economically and socially; and creating a world in which women can play an effective role in … Read more »Brilliant Turkish women