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Blog No.07/2018

It was a cloudy day with cold winds but we were keen to visit Catalhoyuk. The Neolithic site near Konya, maybe 9000 years old, had been admitted as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Scrambling through the countryside we reached a large mound with an ultramodern plexiglass shed. A set of huts and maps welcomed us.

A kindly security guard, in the absence of a guide, escorted us through the complex, telling us about the features in chaste Turkish, which we followed not a word of! We started off with the museum which told the story of these ancient people settling down from nomadic to agricultural life. More interesting was the involvement of the local inhabitants from nearby villages in this project, bringing them a sense of pride and association with the rich heritage.

What we saw, left us amazed. A new civilization was in the making and they were getting used to agriculture, society, village life, art and culture. The entire mound was probably covering an old settlement and only parts were excavated. The houses were at several levels and there was an intricate pattern of pathways and stairs connecting the roofs of the buildings. An unusual feature (as in Gobeklitepe) was the absence of doors on the walls of the buildings, they would climb ladders and climb down to their homes through an opening in the roof!


Blog No.06/2018 (14December, 2018)

Excited about business expansion
            I have noticed that the strong economic growth in India and Turkey has found reflection in bilateral trade and investments.  Trade is growing at 15-20% annually and more companies are interested in seeking long term investments. But the potential is much greater. The desire to deepen economic ties is strong.

            Embassy of India in partnership with all Indian companies based in Turkey, launched India Business Forum (IBF) in Istanbul on 7 December 2018.  IBF seeks to promote Brand India, promote Indian presence, share best practices, strengthen CSR, host sessions with Turkish authorities, economic think tanks and industry associations and develop links with FICCI and CII.

            IBF would be our platform for deeper economic engagement as we create a new partnership with Turkey, focused on trade, investment and technology.  Turkish officials support the new endeavour and feel IBF would open new gateways and business opportunities for both sides.  Indian companies are excited about the initiative and hope that IBF becomes the voice of Indian business in Turkey.


Blog No.05/2018 (21 November, 2018)

Mahatma Gandhi and bilateral economic engagement

When the Turkish independence struggle was at its peak, immediately after World War I, Indians, both Hindu and Muslim, mobilized by Mahatma Gandhi, had contributed financially to the movement. Some of these funds were used for the establishment of Is Bank in Turkey, which spawned a range of commercial and manufacturing entities, including Sisecam, a glass making company.

I visited the Sisecam float glass factory in Polatli, in the vicinity of Ankara, and spent the day with their management and workers. Their state-of-the-art plant uses high technology in all aspects of production ensuring efficiency and perfection. I was amazed at how the molten glass floats on a bed of molten tin and how it is stretched out to produce sheets of flat glass, used in auto and construction sectors.

Sisecam, one of the largest glass makers in the world, have recently started operations in India. They have taken over an existing factory and will soon establish a new line, besides modernizing the existing one, to build capacity in high quality glass products. The collaboration with the Turkish giant will be mutually beneficial. Exciting times ahead for #MakeinIndia and our growing needs.

Blog No.04/2018 (09 November, 2018

Bonding with the youth

Spent a delightful afternoon at the prestigious Koc University, Istanbul. It was rainy and cloudy, which made the drive up the hills more dramatic. The campus was beautiful and the architecture was reflective of the mingling of traditions that Turkey had experienced. As we looked out to the Black Sea coast, it appeared as if the sun from the East was bringing all its glory to the West.

I had a delightful meeting with the Rector, Prof Umran Inan and discussed mechanisms for exchange of students and faculty. They recently set up an Asian Centre and Prof Sebnem, formerly in New Delhi with her husband Amb Akcapar, had organized a presentation by me on “India in the 21st Century” at the Founders Hall. It was wonderful to engage with the brilliant young minds. A surprise Diwali party organized by the students cheered up the rainy day !

The Koc industrial group has recently set up a JV with Tatas for manufacture of white goods in India

Blog No.03/2018 (04 October, 2018)

Another bridge between India and Turkey

Bursa is a bustling town nestling among the hills with an opening to the Sea of Marmara and onwards to Europe. The 8th Bursa International Photo Exhibition focused on rituals and featured India as the Guest Country. There were participants from 12 countries in all. We inaugurated the event along with the Bursa Mayor and also met the Bursa Governor. 

Four amazing Indian photographers showcased the Kumbhamela, Narbada traditions, religious rituals and role of rituals in daily life in an enclosure set aside for the Indian pavilion. A local artist featured a set of photos from Varanasi showing the growing appeal of India and affection for Indians. The Exhibition revealed how rituals connect people and cultures in celebrations and anxieties, interactions with nature and faith, and even in the conduct of daily life.

Blog - 02/2018

Celebrating Independence Day is always special, particularly when it’s with community and friends. Unfurling the national tricolor and watching the rose petals flutter down is a moment of pride and thrill. 

It is an occasion when we share with our achievements and developments, our vision for the global community and new ways to promote bilateral exchanges. The last couple of decades have been transformational for India, and we are proud of it. Today, we are the fastest growing major economy, largest destination of greenfield investments, hub of technology and innovation, home to the most vibrant democracy and endowed with a youth population that is substantially empowered to realize their dreams. Most importantly, India has emerged as the land with a moral compass that all others look up to. The world needs India and India is prepared to play its due role in global affairs. 


Blog - 01/2018

Turkey! An ancient land at the crossroads of history, beautiful sites created by nature and civilizations, wonderful people who are warm and friendly and diverse cuisine enriched by tradition and geography. With infrastructure akin to the developed world, institutions aligned to Europe and markets across the Mediterranean, Turkey offers
great economic opportunities. A political transmission underway as the nation seeks to regain its place and prominence in the global community. India House nestles at the edge of a valley in Ankara with an amazing view of the city. Our new home ...