UK to expand its activities in Turkey
The United Kingdom has decided to expand its diplomatic missions in Turkey due to the country’s increasing international importance, the charge d’affaires of the British Embassy in Ankara told the Hurriyet Daily News on Monday. Turkey’s growing role in the Middle East, its membership in the G-20 and its becoming more vocal and active around the world were among the factors that contributed to the decision, according to embassy official Giles Portman. “We are focusing on the countries that we think are going to have a global influence in the future,” he said. “In all the consulates in Europe we will be reducing our staff; Istanbul is the only consulate in Europe where we are growing our political staff.” British Foreign Minister William Hague announced last week that there would be a shift of resources in Britain’s diplomatic missions around the world. Besides significantly increasing its presence in emerging superpowers China and India, Hague said the U.K. would also make a substantial expansion of its diplomatic strength in Brazil, Turkey, Mexico and Indonesia. “This is something that is going to boost our power of influence, particularly in the most powerful economies in the future. Turkey was identified as one of those important countries,” Portman said, adding that there would probably be new consulates opening in several big cities in Turkey. “The names of the cities are not certain yet but we might open subordinate consulates on the south coast of Turkey as well as in some big industrial cities such as Bursa and Kayseri,” he said.