June-July-August/ 2013 (Nr:3)
Message from the British Ambassador Welcome to the latest edition of the UK in Turkey newsletter. In this edition you will find information which I hope will be of interest to British residents and tourists in Turkey. It includes news about projects on which we’re working with the Turkish Government, as well as developments in our trade relations in this key market for British business. As you will know, we have been through a turbulent few months in Turkey. On the political and humanitarian aid side, Syria has inevitably been at the top of our agenda. Within Turkey, I am sure you will also have been following media coverage about protests over the re-development of Gezi Park in central Istanbul, which began in late May and rapidly widened and spread across the country. Our main priority throughout this difficult period has been to ensure that British residents in Turkey, and the many thousands of British tourists and other visitors, have had up to date information on the security environment in the major cities and beyond. I know how important this information is. As the protests peaked in June, the Turkey travel advice section on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website received over 100,000 hits a week. I won’t make any predictions about what will happen during the autumn; but for the most up to date information please look out for travel advice updates on our Twitter (@UKinTurkey) and Facebook (facebook.com/ukinturkey) accounts Best wishes, Sir David Reddaway HM Ambassador
Message from HM Consul General
It’s been a busy few months for the Turkey Network in Ankara, Istanbul and our coastal consular posts. Our trade and investment work is beginning an exciting new phase this autumn. I am delighted that UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT) have signed a strategic partnership. We will now work even more closely together to give the fullest possible support to British companies who plan to do business in Turkey or which are already active here. This initiative, overseen by Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green, is part of the British Government’s focus on increasing the UK’s prosperity by promoting exports. Please contact the BCCT Chairman, Chris Gaunt (Chris.Gaunt@bcct.org,tr) to learn more about the Chamber’s activities. The GREAT campaign to promote trade and investment between the United Kingdom and Turkey will continue with a series of exciting events over the coming months. These include “Fashion is GREAT” in Istanbul in early October, in collaboration with Harvey Nichols; an exciting regional tour with a full-sized, ultra-modern new-model red London double decker bus to several Turkish cities in October and November; and an “Infrastructure is GREAT” event to promote UK expertise for infrastructure projects in collaboration with Turkish companies. Please look out for more details in the media, including our social media (see below). This summer we expect a total of around 2 million British visitors to Turkey. The resident British community also continues to put down roots, with confirmation that there are around 26,000 properties owned by 35,000 Britons in Turkey. So our consular team has been busy. We have also seen protests in Istanbul and other Turkish cities, which began over the plans to re-develop Gezi Park. Again, our consular teams have been monitoring the situation closely. For a regular summary of issues of Turkey-UK interest, please take a look at, and “like”, the UK in Turkey Facebook Page (facebook.com/ukinturkey). And if you’re interested on knowing what I am up to in Turkey, you can follow me on Twitter (@leighturnerFCO). I also blog in English and Turkish on the main FCO web-site (http://blogs.fco.gov.uk/leighturner/)
Leigh Turner Consul General, Istanbul
Message from HM Consul On 6 September, I met Atay Uslu, newly appointed to the Directorate General of Managed Migration (DGMM), the Government body responsible for implementing the Foreigners and International Protection law that was passed in April 2013 and due to come into force in April 2014. Mr. Uslu is responsible for issues of residency and integration of foreign nationals in Turkey. Given the size and importance of the resident British community, he was keen to discuss the issues affecting British nationals in Turkey. We covered routes to permanent residency and what constituted qualifying years (answer: the details are yet to be finalised in secondary legislation); healthcare and SGK on which the DGMM are planning information booklets; evisas which will be managed by the DGMM; and property issues. Mr Uslu also explained more about the new organisation and the scope of its responsibilities.Perhaps the most significant change is the move to a single, civilian, department with offices in 81 provinces and 148 districts to manage migration and residency issues. Our Embassy migration team, Sirin Turkay and Martin Waspe, have worked closely with the DGMM to develop the law and the Directorate General and we are optimistic that this cooperation will show real benefits for British nationals in Turkey. There should be fewer long treks to office after office to get all manner of stamps and certificates in order to apply for residency whether short, long or permanent and the organisation should be more in touch with the community it serves. Mr Uslu and his team want to hear from the British community and we will be inviting representatives of the DGMM to our community meetings in the coming months. And I will, of course, continue to meet him and his colleagues to represent the concerns of British nationals, so let me know when there is something you would like me to raise. You can follow me, and ask questions, on Twitter (@HMConsulTurkey) and through the Embassy Twitter (@UKinTurkey), Facebook (facebook.com/ukinturkey) and web page (https://www.gov.uk/government/world/turkey). Timothy Fisher HM Consul, İstanbul
NEWSLETTER CONTENT News from the Embassy Consular Projects Trade Consular links
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NEWS FROM THE EMBASSY
Queen’s Birthday and the Armed Forces’ Day celebrated in Ankara
FCO Minister in Turkey
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Ankara, Sir David Reddaway, held a reception at the residence of the British Embassy in Ankara on 20 June to mark the Queen’s Birthday and Armed Forces’ Day.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, was in Turkey in July. His programme included meetings with senior representatives of the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul, and a visit to a camp in Gaziantep province which hosts more than 10,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the violence in their home country.
Approximately 1500 invitees attended the celebrations including politicians, artists, key figures in business and trade, and media representatives.
Mr. Burt’s remarks on his Turkey visit: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-321648turkey-is-not-alone-on-syria-by-alastair-burt-.html
The “GREAT” campaign, the aim of which is to strengthen trade, investment and cultural links with Turkey was a theme of the event.
Embassy represented Championship
Martin Waspe, Migration Officer at the British Embassy and the Chairman of the Embassy Rackets Club, represented the UK at the Turkish Squash Championship.
Bloggers’ lunch by HMCG Leigh Turner On 3 July 2013, the Press and Public Affairs team organized the “GREAT Bloggers’ Lunch” at the British Consulate General in
Addressing the young squash players before the start of the championship, Mr Waspe spoke about the GREAT Campaign which showcases the very best of what Britain has to offer in the fields of business and the arts.
İstanbul. The lunch was hosted by HMCG Leıgh Turner and was attended by eight popular bloggers in Turkey. Following the meeting, the bloggers wrote and tweeted about the GREAT campaign.
Visit by Tour Operators’ Welfare and Administration Officers
Workshop on Multidisciplinary Approach to Acute Sexual Assault Cases
We all hope and expect our holidays to be trouble free. But if something goes wrong, we want to be reassured that we will receive the best possible service from the professionals who care for us.
On 30-31 July, Muğla University hosted a workshop, co-funded by the British Embassy, to examine the specific problem of sexual crimes including; how they are managed through the police, forensic and court systems; good and bad practice; perpetrator and victim profiles and the impact of behaviours.
The British Honorary Consulate in Marmaris works with a range of partners to help support British nationals resident and visiting the area and recently organised a visit for Tour Operators’ Welfare and Administration members to the Forensic Centre in Yerkesik.
Helping Turkey to Combat Violence against Women
Staff at the Centre perform post mortems (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/copingwith-death-abroad ) and provide support and forensic services for victims of sexual and physical abuse (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rapeand-sexual-assault-abroad )
The final conference of our joint project, “Helping Turkey to Combat Violence against Women,” took place on 4 July 2013 in Ankara.
They briefed the tour operators on the systems which are in place to receive and care for victims whilst getting the forensic material needed to support investigations.
Field experts, academicians, representatives from the NGOs and state bodies participated.
One of the tour operators described the visit as very beneficial for understanding what happens at the Centre and the circumstances under which victims might be referred there.
The Embassy’s Human Rights Officer, Nadia Hashmi, delivered a speech at the closing ceremony. Ms Hashmi underlined the Embassy’s commitment to working with the Turkish authorities to tackle the problem of domestic violence.
The British Embassy in Ankara has supported the forensic team with exchange visits to the UK and continues to work with the Centre, tour operators and local authorities to improve services for British nationals in Turkey.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Mounts Bay was berthed at the cruise liner port in Bodrum from Sunday 8 to Monday 16 September. Its cargo of an embarked force of approximately 500 Royal Marine Commandos from 42 Command Royal Marines took some well earned rest in Bodrum and the surrounding area having just completed an exercise in Albania as part of the United Kingdom’s Response Force Task Group. The package of rest and recuperation and adventurous training in the Bodrum area was a huge success and extremely popular with the Royal Marines. The British Ambassador, his Excellency Sir David Reddaway, was appreciative of the welcoming and secure environment offered by the local authorities and the people of Bodrum. 5
CONSULAR Lost passports abroad cost Brits £5 Million a year Thousands of British nationals pay for emergency travel documents every month as last-minute passport replacements Using your passport as a beermat, notebook or putting it in the washing machine are just some of the reasons why British holidaymakers and are now spending millions each year on emergency travel documents (ETDs) - issued when passports are lost, stolen or damaged while abroad. And the problem is on the rise: ‘avoidable’ cases have increased significantly in 2012-13, with ETDs issued for expired or damaged passports increasing by over 300%. Around 80 ETDs are issued to British nationals around the world every single day, with 28,783 issued in the past year alone. If you lose/damage your passport on holiday you will not be able to get a replacement. Instead you will have to get an ETD and then replace your passport once back in the UK which on average costs a total of £167.50. If you are a British resident abroad make sure you apply for your new full UK passport in plenty of time before you need it (allow at least 4 weeks)-all overseas residents full passport applications are now made to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK, details can be found on GOV.UK Key tips for keeping your passport safe abroad •Value your passport and look after it carefully •Your passport is not always safer on you – lock it in a safe if you have access to one •Make two photocopies of your passport – leave one with friends or family and take the second with you, or store it online using a secure data storage site •Where possible, use this photocopy as alternative ID, for example when going out at night •Make sure your passport is valid •For certain countries your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date you travel – check the entry requirements before you go Don’t forget to sign up to our Facebook and Twitter feeds to ensure you are informed of the latest travel advice: www.facebook.com/fcotravel or www.twitter.com/fcotravel FCO help on Twitter British people travelling or living overseas can now get help from the Foreign Office on twitter. The new twitter service helps to ensure that British people travelling overseas have a trouble-free trip, advising on passports, visas, travel safety, and more. Please follow @FCOtravel and @UKinTurkey for support. Find out more about the service here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fco-launches-new-twitter-serviceoffering-travel-advice-and-help 6
Neighbourhood Watch Scheme The British Honorary Consulate in Fethiye are working together with the British community and local police and officials to make the area a no go zone for burglars. Concerned at the number of house break-ins during recent weeks, a group of British residents have taken the initiative to form a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme which aims to cover all the main residential areas of the town and its suburbs. http://issuu.com/ukinturkey/docs/neighbourhood_watch_scheme
Changes to SGK regulations It is no longer compulsory for foreign nationals to join the SGK health scheme. Those wishing to join may do so after one year of residency in Turkey with a residence permit. All foreign nationals who have been residing longer than a year will also be eligible to apply and payments will start from the date of application. Payments will not be back dated. The only time when a foreign national will be able to cease membership, or withdraw their application from SGK, is when they decide to leave Turkey to return to their country or if they join an official health scheme (e.g. NHS). If leaving Turkey on a permanent basis an individual must surrender their residence permit to the Foreigners Police Department and write a letter to their SGK office informing them that they are leaving the country. On joining an official health scheme a letter proving membership of the scheme must be submitted to the SGK office.
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PROJECTS Regional Assisted Voluntary Returns (AVR) Seminar The British Embassy sponsored a Regional Assisted Voluntary Returns (AVR) Seminar on 10-11 June in Istanbul. Turkish National Police, International Organisation for Migration, and British officials joined the seminar which was launched by HM Consul General, Leigh Turner. Participants reviewed the scope for stronger cooperation between the UK and Turkey on border management. Both the UK and Turkish teams spoke in glowing terms about the impact of our previous joint activity.
UK working with Turkey on forgery detection on borders UK is supporting the Turkish National Police on the efforts to establish a comprehensive forgery deterction system. There is a project implemented by International Organization for Migration (IOM). There are series of seminars and trainings. A two-week forgery detection seminar took place in Istanbul on 13-14 May funded from the Embassyâ€™s allocation under the cross-Whitehall Returns and Reintegration Fund. 150 Turkish border police officers from the main airports and border gates were trained. Rafe Courage, Deputy CG, Meera Sethi, International Organisation for Migration Chief of Mission Turkey, and Sinan Tuna, Deputy Head of Foreigners Department in the Turkish National Police, attended the closing ceremony.
Sustainable Forest Management in the Context of Water Use of Forests Project The first meeting of our Sustainable Forest Management in the Context of Water Use of Forests Project took place in Ankara on June 24th. The project aims to integrate forests' water functions into forest management plans in Turkey. It is implemented by UNDP Turkey and General Directorate of Forestry. At her opening speech, Lucy Smith from the British Embassy said that the project is a 1st of its kind in Turkey in shaping forest management policies, and underlined that this will lead to transformational change in terms of sustainable forest management.
Prosperity Fund Project on Energy Efficiency The first meeting of our project on capacity building for engineers working in the field of energy efficiency in buildings took place in Ankara in June. In his opening speech, Mr. Bahri TĂźrkmen, President of the Turkish Society of HVAC & Sanitary Engineers, emphasized his personal commitment to ensuring that Turkey with the UK adopted the highest environmental standards in the field of urban planning.
TRADE Business Opportunities Training
Visit of Jeremy Oppenheim
’Business Opportunities’’ champions for Turkey initiated a training session for UKTI Turkey Team and colleagues in the Regional Network of Central Asia and South Caucasus that took place on 10 July 2013. The training was delivered through a teleconference with the support of Anne Jones from CDU in London. Topics on sourcing, writing, uploading and maximising responses to Business Opportunities were discussed.
Mr. Oppenheim, a senior official at the British Home Office with responsibility for immigration and visa issues visited Istanbul to discuss the operation at the UK visa system in Turkey with a particular focus on improvements for business uses. He had several meetings with business people and representatives of Istanbul Municipality, BCCT, Foreign Economic Relations Board regarding their visa related expectations to increase the trade relations between Turkey & UK. On the first day of his meetings, he came together with business people from various companies and associations such as Halk Yatirim, Koleksiyon Mobilya, Ekol Grup, MUSIAD, Turkish Contractors Association, Florence Nightingale and Kahve Dunyasi. Mr. Oppenheim started his meetings on 9th and left Istanbul on 11th July.
It was agreed that sector leads in Turkey continue to source and upload Business Opportunities directly onto thewww.bim.ukti.gov.uk web site. Regional Posts where there is no UKTI presence will be supported by the Regional Officers in Istanbul. The Business Opportunities training also focused on maximising interest from UK companies via the use of UKTI social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. For more information, please contact Business Opportunities Champions for Turkey Network Mehmetali Bortucene and Vefa Atag.
GTF Press Conference in Pera House GTF (Global Thinkers Forum) conducted a press conference in Pera House with support of UKTI to announce the international Symposium on Energy, Innovation & the Future: Exchanging Knowledge, Promoting Business. The event will take place in Gaziantep on September 12, 2013 and will be opened by the d. Minister of Energy Mr. Murat Mercan.
CONSULAR LINKS (Please click on the titles for the relevant web page)
Online Consular Appointment System Travel advice Passports and emergency travel documents Births, deaths and marriages Legislation service Notarial and documentary services List of lawyers Driving in Turkey Mobile phone use in Turkey Entry and residency requirements in Turkey Residency permits in Turkey Work permits in Turkey Turkish healthcare for British visitors and residents Prepare for earthquakes in Turkey Earthquake contact information Traffic accidents in Turkey
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