Leigh Turner

Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

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UK in Austria

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28th March 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Legal highs and “NPS”: concrete steps

What do Project NEPTUNE and New Zealand have in common? Both are working to tackle the problem of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), also known as legal highs. I recently opened an expert panel in Vienna, organised by the UK and New Zealand with the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, on tackling NPS. The New […]

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16th March 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Where is Europe’s largest motorcycle maker based?

Which is the most important economic powerhouse in Austria? Amongst the nine Austrian provinces, Vienna has the largest population, followed by Lower Austria and Upper Austria. But more international exports come from Upper Austria than from any other Austrian province. So when I visited Upper Austria recently, my first stop was at Europe’s biggest motor […]

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8th March 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

How to break the barriers that hold back women and girls

When I was in Kyiv, some Ukrainian colleagues used to express scepticism about International Women’s Day. They saw it as tokenism; a relic of the bad old days when Soviet authorities gave lip-service to women’s rights while men dominated positions of power. One result was that although I wrote several blogs to mark International Women’s […]

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28th February 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

At the hinge of Europe: stunning Vorarlberg

What has been the most unexpected hit video I have put on Twitter during my time as Ambassador in Vienna? The answer is, indeed, not what you would expect. I recently visited the most westernmost province of Austria, Vorarlberg.  Lying on Lake Constance (known in German as the Bodensee), and bordering Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, […]

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21st February 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Up and down the mountain: a guide to Tyrolean Dialect

My introductory video from last September noted the importance of visiting all parts of Austria; and of the dialects spoken in different regions. You can watch me attempting to learn the wonderful and challenging Tyrolean dialect in the video above.  Clearly it’s easier in a snowstorm; up a mountain; in the cable-car going down; or, […]

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16th February 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

More about that Tyrolean Squirrel’s Tail

The wind is whistling at the top of the Hungerbergbahn.  But my teacher is encouraging. ‘It’s bärig,’ she says.  ‘Innsbruck ist bärig’ (‘Innsbruck is terrific’). I repeat; and repeat; and repeat again. I’ve written before about the variety of Austria.  A country dissected by great mountains and steep valleys has developed, over centuries, a patchwork of […]

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7th February 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Vienna: tackling modern slavery – concrete action

I wrote in my blog about modern slavery last month that “modern slavery is happening throughout the world, including in Europe, on a large scale”. So what are we doing about it? More than 200 years ago William Wilberforce led Britain in the fight against slavery – opening the eyes of the world to the […]

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31st January 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Things from Vienna? Or Viennese things?

The clock is slightly fake.  Its large face, with a hint of what I believe may be 1930s or 1950s design, displays not only hour, minute and second hands, but also – mostly – the correct time. Take it off the wall, however, and you will see that the original electric mechanism has been replaced […]

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19th January 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

The wonders of Instagram

Which leading Austrian Instagramer features photographs of a figure in a yellow sou’wester? I was pleased to welcome to the Embassy recently a group of mostly young Austrians with leading accounts on the social media, like Instagram. In instagramese, this would read: Great to welcome @igersvienna to #BritishEmbassy #grambassador. One of the challenges of social […]

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10th January 2017 Vienna, Austria

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Tackling Modern Slavery – in Vienna

A person is transported illegally away from their community to somewhere unfamiliar or foreign.  Once there, they are forced to work without any form of contract or proper remuneration. This is modern slavery.  It is happening throughout the world, including in Europe, on a large scale. According to the Vienna-based UN Office on Drugs and […]

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About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.

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