POLITICS > ‘Turkish diaspora should be stronger’

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Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. REUTERS photo

Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. REUTERS photo

The Prime Ministry’s Directorate of Overseas Turks seeks to expand Turkish lobbying efforts abroad and strengthen the Turkish diaspora, an honorary member of the Overseas Turks Advisory Board said Jan. 14.

“If effective synergy is created between the [World Turkish Business Council] and the new initiative [Overseas Turks Advisory Board], there is no doubt that important progress will be made in regards to promotion of the Turkey brand and in lobbying activities,” Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company and a recent honorary appointee to the advisory board, told Anatolia news agency.

In addition to the 70 seats of the Overseas Turks Advisory Board, 10 honorary members, including Kent, were selected in December by the government.

Kent also heads the advisory board of the World Turkish Business Council. The World Turkish Business Council operates under the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).

“We should expand Turkish lobbying to wide masses abroad. We should attach importance to efforts for making the Turkish diaspora one of the most effective diasporas in the world by conducting a sustainable diaspora strategy,” Kent said, adding that they should help Turkish entrepreneurs use the Turkey brand.

“However, it is still very early to discuss the details of studies of the [Overseas Turks Advisory Board],” he said.


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Notice on comments

mara mcglothin

1/15/2013 3:46:31 PM

BMEDIC I cannot speak for most Turks living abroad, but only for the few I know personally in the USA. The left to have a better life and to escape the constant drama that is Turkey. They would never put their heads above the water line these days because the reports coming out of Turkey are an embarrassment to them and to the principles of Ataturk. Would you want to promote a country where it is legal to sue for insult, or imprison journalists or ban books? What century is it again?

Kemal Lazlee

1/15/2013 3:18:59 PM

What B Medic writes is true. The problem with the consulates is the same as with most "civil servants" in Turkey, they think the public/citizens are to serve them and not vice versa. As they say, a fish stinks from the head. Most US Turks that came in the 60s were treated as traitors for immigrating. While they fought prejudice against Turks and Turkey, they felt they were abandoned by their country to fight alone. Their kids for the most part don't even consider themselves as a diaspora,

Turk Uzan

1/15/2013 2:05:54 PM

In short we need an a group that not only supports and promotes Turkey and Turkish interests but also helps young Turkish entrepreneurs. We need people that are willing to give loans, help with business plans, provide education, help, guidance etc and a good Turkish networking group. Many Turks start small businesses in Europe, we need to change the mentality from a small shop/fast food to international business, engineering, construction etc etc.

Turk Uzan

1/15/2013 2:01:12 PM

Mr. Kent is a great man, who worked and studied really hard for his position. He's always been one of my examples and he is a great representative of Turkish people abroad. I doubt that any of you people have even ever heard of his name. Turks in America are doing FAR better than Turks in Europe partly because there is less bias towards Turks in America. But also because many immigrants in Europe are stuck with 70's mentalities,

Turk Uzan

1/15/2013 1:54:16 PM

@ B Medic, you are extremely wrong. Most Turks in Europe are overly nationalists much more so than Turks in Turkey. And most Turks here came in the 70's for work opportunities planning to return one day and then decided to stay with approval of the government of the land they worked in. NOT because they did not like living in Turkey. @ Mesude, Faruk shame on you. You know nothing of Mr. Kent, he is an EXTREMELY respectable man, and I am happy to have him as an example for Turks abroad.

Diren Sesel

1/15/2013 12:20:26 PM

I agree with mesude , the consulates are a disgrace.

B Medic

1/15/2013 11:44:32 AM

I guess a member of such a group has to say things like these. But I doubt Turks overseas will unite and promote their former homeland in the way Mr Kent wants. Because most of Turks I know abroad have left the country because they did not like living there or because they felt Turkey did not provide enough opportunities for them to live the life they wanted. Surprisingly many also say they left because they were fed up with their families.

Faruk Beisser

1/15/2013 9:31:01 AM

Ah yes, another position for those poor businessmen earning mere millions! Honorary? Of course, it's an honor to be on that board, but we won't talk about the bakschisch flowing.

mesude salihli

1/15/2013 7:07:42 AM

Before they ask our help, they should fix the problems with the consulates.
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