Newsletter HCG Turkey - December 2018 Show webversion
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Logo HCG
december 2018


Joost Peters

Dear business partner,

The year 2018 is nearly at its end. We look back on a beautiful year with successful activities that we got to (co-)host.

One of the highlights of 2018 was the Student Business Challenge that took place late October in Istanbul. During this unique project, 18 Dutch and 18 Turkish students faced the challenge of finding a solution to three problems. Further on in this newsletter you will read a detailed report on this event.

Currently we are busy working on the preparations of the new exhibition ‘Istanbul meets Leiden’ of the Turkish/Dutch artist duo Özcan & Van Baaren, which will be opening soon. Furthermore, we have many more activities to come. Keep an eye on our newsletter so you won’t miss a thing!

On behalf of my colleagues and myself I would like to use this opportunity to wish you happy holidays and a healthy, happy and successful 2018 in every aspect possible!

Joost Peters,
Honorary Consul-General of Turkey


From time to time we are asked the question as to why we do not pay attention to current political developments in our newsletters. The answer to this is simple: for political as well as religious matters the Turkish ambassador is the only true spokesperson. The HCG Turkey focuses on her core tasks: trade promotion, student-exchange programs including the provision of internship locations in Turkey and cultural exchange programs.

Source: HCG Turkey

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Turkey marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The annual celebration of the International Day of People with Disabilities was proclaimed in 1992, by Resolution 47/3 of the General Assembly of the United Nations. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities in all areas of society and to raise awareness of the situation of people with disabilities.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was marked in Turkey on Dec. 3 with various social events across the country. Disabled citizens attended a bicycle ride in Istanbul, organized by its Bağcılar Municipality, going from Europe to Asia by the July 15 Martyrs' Bridge (Bosporus Bridge).

Famous former soccer players, players of Turkey's national amputee football team, which became European champions in October, and celebrities gathered in Istanbul in a friendly football match aiming to buy wheelchairs for disabled people with the profit from the game. Former FIFA referee Erman Toroğlu, former Turkey goalkeeper Rüştü Rençber and forward Tanju Çolak, and actor Cansel Elçin were among the participants. Similar matches were also organized by Üsküdar and Bakırköy municipalites in Istanbul.

Source: Daily Sabah Business

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Dutchman Great-Admiral of Turkish fleet

In the 17th century, a privateer from Hoorn, Dirkie de Veenboer, was the captain of a corsair. The privateers got the assignment to enter as many ships as possible form the Dunkirk privateers. Curious about how he eventually became Great-Admiral of the Turkish fleet? You will read about it below.

After a few years he stopped privateering because he did not make enough money. He decided to take on piracy for himself. A big step at that time, because legally and socially the distinction between privateering and piracy was huge. Privateers enjoyed high regard, whereas pirates were outsiders and fair game for anyone who tried to harm them. Privateering was legal while pirates faced the death penalty.

This did not stop Dirkie de Veenboer from joining ‘captain Devil’, the nickname for the Dutch pirate Simon de Danser, around 1607. He was one of the many Dutch captains who were active as Barbary corsairs who made trade on the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic route to Asia around the Cape of Good Hope unsafe. Simon de Danser taught the Barbary corsairs, who had the harbours of Algiers, Tunis and Salè as their base camp, to sail with square rigged ships instead of the labour-intensive galleys, which made them much more dangerous and effective.

It wasn’t long before Dirkie de Veenboer had his own pirate ship. He chose Algiers as base camp and made an agreement with the pasha. In exchange for a percentage of the loot, he received protection, shelter, food and water for his crew. In 1609 he converted to the Islam, which resulted in him getting the position of Great-Admiral of the Turkish fleet and the name Soleyman Reís.

Source: Oneindig Noord-Holland

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More than 40 million tourists visit Turkey in 10 months of 2018

More than 40 million tourists coming from abroad visited Turkey in the January-October 2018 period. The Culture and Tourism Ministry announced Friday that nearly 35.6 million foreigners visited Turkey in the first 10 months of 2018, a 22.4 percent increase compared to some 29 million in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, more than five million Turkish citizens living abroad arrived in the first nine months of 2018, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), helping Turkey exceed the 40 million target for foreign visits set by the government.

Russia led the way with 5.26 million tourists in the first nine months of this year, recording a 16.09 percent year-on-year increase. It was followed by Germany with 4.16 million visitors and the U.K. with 2.16 million. The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya was the top destination with 12 million foreign visitors, accounting for 33.7 percent of all foreign visitors. In October alone, the number foreign visitors to Turkey saw a 25.48 percent hike and reached 3.7 million. In 2017, Turkey hosted 32.4 million foreign visitors in 2017 and earned tourism-based revenue of $26.5 billion.

Source: Daily Sabah Business

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Report Student Business Challenge 2018

As known we have organised a Student Business Challenge from 20 until 27 October in Turkey. A unique project where 18 Dutch and 18 Turkish students worked together with Eureko Sigorta, Eurocross, the Dutch-Consulate General of Turkey and the Özyegin University. The goal was to solve three problem definitions of Eureko Sigorta.

On Saturday 20 October, 18 enthusiastic and highly-motivated Dutch students and three supervising teachers of the universities of Applied Sciences of Leiden, Utrecht and Alkmaar/Diemen departed from Schiphol to the beautiful Istanbul to go head-to-head against each other and 18 Turkish students from the Özyegin University for the ‘Student Business Challenge’. The 36 students were divided in six groups of six people and each group got a week to look for a solution to the three problem definitions.

It was very nice to see how enthusiastic the students in the six mixed groups of Dutch and Turkish students tried to dissect these problem definitions. They worked hard but had a lot of fun as well. On Friday, the students presented their findings in Palais d’Hollande to the judge, which consisted of the following people: Bart van Bolhuis (Consul-General of the Netherlands in Turkey), Uco Vegter (Managing Director Achmea International), Chan Caglar (CEO Eureko Sigorta and jury chairman) en Ihsan Ilker (Core Strategy).

The results exceeded our expectations. We got to view six great presentations with results that Eureko Sigorta can definitely work with and implement the solutions of the winning team in the future.

Not only we, but also the students look back on a fantastic week. “An educational journey, amazing time, made many international contacts, had lots of fun, worked on a ‘real’ assignment, great week, had the best time and made new friends”, were some of the enthusiastic students’ reactions.

Source: HCG Turkije

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Business Challenge

New exhibition ‘Istanbul meets Leiden’

In the last newsletter we informed you about the advance notice of our new exhibition ‘Istanbul meets Leiden’: a nice mixture of the Dutch and Turkish culture, presented by the Dutch artist Marcel van Baaren and his Turkish co-artist M. Hakan Özcan. Currently they are still working on their last piece of art inside our office, which is being made especially for us.

It is beyond doubt unique. We almost can’t wait to show it to you. From January onwards, you are more than welcome to visit us and admire these special pieces of art. It is recommended that you contact us by phone during office hours from Monday up to Friday to make sure that someone is present.

Source: HCG Turkey

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Did you know that…

- not in China, nor in the United Kingdom people drink most tea in the world, but in Turkey? No less than 3.16 kg per person per year. However Turkey was introduced to the tea culture and tea cultivation only 140 years ago.

- Turkey granted work permits to 97,991 foreigners in the first ten months of 2018? Already more than in the 12 months of 2017: 87,182, and in 2016: 59,873. The top 5 in 2018 are: 1. Syrians, 2. Georgians, 3. Kyrgyz, 4. Ukrainians, 5. Chinese.

- Turkish housing sales to foreigners recorded a 134.4 percent increase in October compared to the same period of last year, according to data by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat)? Foreigners purchased a total of 30,431 housing units in the period of January to October this year, the data of the statistical body revealed. The number of properties sold to Germans, British and Swedes spiked sharply on an annual basis in October – up 222 percent, 131 percent, and 137 percent, respectively.

- work has been initiated for the restoration of a Roman-era stadium in the ancient city of Perge, located 17 kilometers from Antalya city center? Currently closed to visitors, the stadium was built using natural stones in the region. Placed on 70 arches, the stadium has 11 seat rows and a capacity for 12,000 people.

- the number of newly established companies in Turkey rose by 19.7 percent year-on-year in the January-October period, according to the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB)? A total of 71,907 companies were established in the first 10 months of this year, up to 60,063 in the same period last year.

- famous for its nature parks as well as Erfelek Waterfall and Çatak Canyon, the city of Sinop has been chosen as the happiest city in Turkey for the last couple of years? Located on the shore of the Black Sea, covered with thick forests, the locals always say that they are lucky to live in such a beautiful natural setting.

- Turkey got a loan of $200 million with a low interest rate from the World Bank for public sector energy efficiency investments, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said? The money will be used by central government bodies and local administrations for the isolation of public buildings.

- the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization introduced a draft bill to Parliament to make zero waste mandatory? Under the bill that comes at the heels of a campaign to reduce waste, municipalities, bus stations, shopping malls, public institutions, workplaces, schools, hotels and hospitals will be obliged to adapt to zero waste. If approved by Parliament, the regulations will come into force next year.

Source: Marc Guillet, Turkey correspondent

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