Turkey’s promotion started with Israel
Reina was born in Turkey’s western city of İzmir and Rafael is from Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district. Some came to Israel as children and some came only a few years ago but they left their hearts in Turkey.
When they heard Turkish products would be promoted, they came to Israel’s “Republic of Turkey Promotion Day” on Nov. 27 with great excitement.
The long lines at the fair for “künefe,” a cheesy dessert originally from Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay, and for the traditional “maraş” ice cream, are due to this feeling of longing.
The “Civilizations Choir” was formed as a stand against discrimination of religion, language and race in Hatay. The emotional feeling created by the songs they sang that day in Turkish, Hebrew, Kurdish and Arabic, turned into an atmosphere of entertainment when the audience requested songs by famous Turkish singer İbrahim Tatlıses.
We were first in Jerusalem and afterwards in Tel Aviv for the day’s activities. Historical railway stations built during the Ottoman Empire were the interesting venues chosen for the event.
This is the first event by the “Turkey Promotion Fund,” formed to replace the closed sectorial promotion groups. The project belongs to the Mediterranean Water Products and Animal Products Exporter Associations (ASHİB).
ASHİB head Ali Can Yamanyılmaz, who coordinated the activity, said they wanted to promote Turkish products before the international food “Israfood” in Tel Aviv. Yamanyılmaz said he had the support of the Economy Ministry and that Turkish Economy Ministry Undersecretary İbrahim Şenel had visited the fair.
Yamanyılmaz explained why they chose Israel:
“Israel is one of our most important markets in the food sector and our exports are continuously increasing. The Israeli authorities at the fair said the collaboration between the two countries would improve. There is an especially great interest in the confectionery sector. The goals are big. The Israeli sector representatives said they could do production with Turkish partners. This is a positive development from our side,” he said.
According to the information from Yamanyılmaz, trade volume between Turkey and Israel has increased 113 percent in the last 13 years and rose from $2 billion to $4.4 billion in 2016.
He said almost $3 billion of this figure are exports to Israel and $1.3 billion are imports.
“Israel is among the top 10 countries Turkey exports to. Turkey’s biggest advantages are its production power in line with European Union standards and its geological advantage, which assures products are shipped to Israel in one night. Only Turkish Airlines makes 10 flights per day. We have the most exports with Israel in the automotive, steel, chemistry, iron and ready-to-wear sectors. It seems like our annual export figures will double in five years,” said Yamanyılmaz.
Rueven Schlussel, a second president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, also said Israeli business people wanted to increase the trade volume with Turkey and that activities in this sense and the fair would have a big impact.
The second stop is Japan
Yamanyılmaz said their next goal was Japan.
“In 2018, we will organize a much bigger activity in Japan. We also have the support of our Economy Ministry in this matter because we have a great deficit in foreign trade with Japan. We want a 15-20 percent market share in Japan’s game fowl industry,” he said.