Leigh Turner » Istanbul, Turkey

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

Chelsea – and Galatasaray – and Football – are GREAT

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What is more exciting than football? The answer, if you are a fan of any of Istanbul’s great clubs is: nothing.  As the famous Liverpool football manager, Bill Shankly, once said: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death.  I am very disappointed with that attitude.  I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” So we at the Consulate-General were thrilled and grateful … Read more »Chelsea – and Galatasaray – and Football – are GREAT

Will the London future taxi be Turkish?

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At first sight, the vehicle looks like a slice of science fiction futurism from “The Fifth Element”. When we climb into the big, low-floored cab, designed to offer easy access to disabled people and wheel-chair users, everything feels familiar.  Yet somehow it is also different: more comfortable and spacious than usual. We’re at Hexagon Studios, the research and development centre of Turkish automotive manufacturer Karsan at Gebze in the outskirts … Read more »Will the London future taxi be Turkish?

Istanbul – a multi-faith centre

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A guest blog by Nadia Hashmi, Second Secretary for internal politics and human rights at the British Embassy in Ankara, Turkey The grandeur of the Blue Mosque. The intricate mosaics of the Chora church. The breath-taking Hagia Sophia. All these monuments reflect how Istanbul has for centuries been a centre of religious belief. Istanbul’s diversity was reinforced to me recently during the visit of Justin Welby, who as Archbishop of … Read more »Istanbul – a multi-faith centre

How to train the best soldiers – and leaders

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Talking to a highly-trained and brilliant audience is always a challenge. So I am not surprised when, after my talk about developments in Turkey and economic opportunities, a forest of hands goes up.  Most of the questions demonstrate a strong grip of political and economic as well as military issues.  Any inconsistencies within my presentation are mercilessly exposed. I’m talking to a large group of British and international military officers … Read more »How to train the best soldiers – and leaders

Turkey and Britain: Open to Export

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          The first click brings up a Turkish company seeking bids to repair a turbine generator system.  Further down there is an analysis of recent economic developments in Turkey; and a question (and answer) about how to open a cupcake store with English recipes. Welcome to the Turkey page of the ‘Open to Export’ website. Open to Export is a community-driven service, launched in 2012, to help British … Read more »Turkey and Britain: Open to Export

Violence against women, Kusursuzlar and can IKEA do good?

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I recently enjoyed the new Turkish film Kusursuzlar (“The Impeccable Ones”).  The film shows how two adult sisters respond differently to a traumatic event, the details of which are revealed as the film progresses.  It makes gruelling viewing, but has some fine comedy moments – especially featuring the male neighbour who may or may not be a romantic interest for one or other of the sisters.  Good on sibling rivalry, too. Kusursuzlar … Read more »Violence against women, Kusursuzlar and can IKEA do good?

Turkey: an economic miracle?

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Who is referring to Turkey as one of “The next economic giants”?   The answer is Jim O’Neill, the British economist famous for inventing the term “BRIC” – for Brazil, Russia, India and China – in 2001 as the next big thing in the world economy.  Since then, these economies have grown strongly.   Now Jim O’Neill has coined a new acronym: the MINT countries, ie Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria  and … Read more »Turkey: an economic miracle?