Istanbul, Turkey: One Fascinating Place

There is no reason why Istanbul, Turkey won’t become the place everyone wants to visit.

Turkey is 98% Muslim, but you wouldn’t know it by interacting with people in Istanbul. You hear the call to prayer five times a day, but no one stops and prays.

Istanbul is like being in Paris. No one is outwardly religious. They keep those kind of things to themselves.

But, that’s the only thing Turks keep to themselves, especially in Istanbul. Its citizens are young, outgoing and confident. There is a sense that Turkey’s time has once again arrived. Their economy is growing, jobs are available and their brand of democracy is being looked at as a model for Middle Eastern countries now establishing modern forms of participatory government.

Like most any large seaport city, Istanbul is accommodating to outsiders. It is liberal and forgiving. Food is delicious and plentiful, and diversity is accepted as a way of life.

Wow, I sound like Rick Steves. Let me change course.

Changing Course

At the time of this writing Cheri and I are on an end of year business trip, which includes Istanbul. Last week we were in Washington DC, and after we leave Istanbul we will be in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. We will end the trip in Seattle.

Essentially, we will have traveled around the world in 24 days. What’s remarkable about this is that we will have done it with remarkable ease.

Why? The same old story is—awesome advances in technology.

Our travel needs were entered into the computer and secured within 10 minutes. (We still work closely with our travel agent.)

Hotels and ground transportation were secured just about as fast.

International wireless communications have allowed us to set up a mobile office in our hotel room. This permits us to take care of domestic matters back home, while working directly with international clients.

All conversations worldwide are conducted in English. Many foreign companies now require their employees to speak English. English is the language of business worldwide. It’s English all the time, everywhere.

Air travel worldwide continues to improve. To my way of thinking, air travel is one of the great successes in global cooperation. Regulation is integrated, which allows people to go anywhere in the world with a standard of safety and efficiency unparalleled in history.

It’s Cool Doing Business Internationally

The dominant strength of developing countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates is their large young adult populations, who are increasingly more educated and curious about American entrepreneurs.

With growing access to American values, young adults have been like heat seeking missiles. They are not only aggressive in wanting to consume western products, but in better understanding how to own the means of producing them. As a result, they are eager to associate with those of us who are on the firing line of business creation.

They are eager to offer direct suggestions on how your product can reach its maximum potential locally, and even more eager in finding out how products and businesses get their start. They listen intently and have a never ending barrage of follow-up questions.

Indeed, the young in these countries are on the move. They want freedom and they want to create economic value. So, not only is Istanbul a fascinating place, but Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai as well. With positive business conditions like these, it’s very cool doing business internationally.