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Front Page » Top Stories » Turkish consul targets Miami-Istanbul flights

Turkish consul targets Miami-Istanbul flights

Written by on November 5, 2014
Turkish consul targets Miami-Istanbul flights

Just over a month ago, Miami welcomed a new consul general of the Republic of Turkey in Miami, Özgür Kývanç Altan.

The past five weeks have been hectic, but a lack of permanent offices hasn’t slowed Mr. Altan and his small staff of six. Right now the Turkish consulate is at 800 SW Eighth St. in Brickell on the 28th floor, but in a few months they expect to move down one level to permanent, newly renovated offices on the 27th floor.

About 20,000 Turkish citizens are in the state, many concentrated in South Florida. In Miami-Dade most Turkish citizens reside in Miami Beach or the downtown area, Mr. Altan said. Outside of establishing and moving into a permanent consulate, Mr. Altan hopes to expand trade relations between Miami and Turkey, strengthen development relations, continue developing the shipping and boating trade and establish a direct flight between Miami and Istanbul.

The consulate also intends to act as a beacon for the Republic of Turkey in Miami and a point of contact for Turkish citizens who need passport or other help while in Florida.

A direct Turkish Airlines flight between Istanbul and Miami is a major point for Mr. Altan and his team, and just the beginning to reinforcing pathways between the two hubs. A direct flight would facilitate easier economic and trade missions between the two, with Greater Miami and Florida delegations having easier access to Turkey and vice versa.

In addition, a trip on Turkish Airlines is always a pleasure, Mr. Altan said. “I’ve known other diplomats to say that, particularly in their hardship posts, they know they are back to home comfort already once they step onto a Turkish Airlines plane,” he said.

With the majority of its borders as coastlines, Turkey is known for its yacht production, sea trade and development of deepwater ports. In addition to strengthening that trade, Mr. Altan hopes to tap into another very Miami industry – architecture and interior design.

“Turkey has many beautiful stones and rock for design that would do very well in Miami,” Mr. Altan said.

On a foreign policy front, Mr. Altan says he is hoping to bring awareness to Turkey’s efforts in the Middle East, particularly the work Turkey has done in welcoming 1.5 million Syrian refugees. That process has cost Turkey $4 billion but it’s worth it, Mr. Altan said.

“Often there are complaints that Turkey isn’t doing anything to help, but we are, people just don’t talk about it,” Mr. Altan said.

Earlier this month, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, the Florida Turkish American Association and the Federal of Turkish American Associations held an event in Fort Lauderdale that celebrate Turkish American heritage. One focus was on the Turkish-Armenian conflict, defamations against Turkey, the vibrant Turkish-American community and how to better broadcast Turkey’s role to the US.

A veteran of the Turkish foreign ministry, Mr. Altan had a window of opportunity back in July to accept a post in Miami. What did he do? “I frantically called my wife and she said yes,” he said.

A little over a month ago, Mr. Altan and his family moved to the Cocoplum area in Coral Gables. Mr. Altan’s wife Aslý has a Ph.D. in linguistics and teaches Turkish as a foreign language. Their 6-year-old daughter Alya has just started first grade here in Miami.

Before the consulate was established, a commercial office of two persons in Brickell worked as an ambassador to market Turkey and maintain current Turkish-Miami relations. In the coming year or so, Mr. Altan hopes to bulk up the team at the consulate to 25 staffers.

8 Responses to Turkish consul targets Miami-Istanbul flights

  1. Brickellite

    November 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Maybe the West could respect Turkey a little more if they did the following:

    1.) Accept responsibility for the Armenian genocide of 1915. To date, 23 countries have officially recognized the mass killings as genocide, a view which is shared by most genocide scholars and historians.

    2.) Stop supporting ISIS and Islamist rebels in Syria, and actually fly missions and support their NATO partners.

    3.) Support a Kurdish homeland.

    4.) Quit the hypocrisy and make Turkey a truly secular nation -ie. ban Islamist political parties such as the ruling Justice and Development Party.

    5.) End the pervasive levels of corruption that is only engendering cynicism and future uprising.

    If Miami gets its direct flight to Istanbul, I hope every effort is made by DHS to screen those coming to our Magic City…

    • Iborian

      November 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      You should change your thought doing a little more research !!!
      Stop being ignorence and see how many Armenian feed their hungry stomach being and living in Turkey specially in Istanbul.
      You kind of ignorence people just bla bla and hurting them living in Turkey and you don’t give a @#$% what’s really happening in Ermenia!
      I’m half Ermenian and Turkish and just seeing your hate is not helping at all.
      You should read more and researche more info about Turkey and people living there and stop using dope a little?

      • Kemal Kamil

        November 19, 2014 at 12:54 pm

        Armenian Genocide is just a claim without any truth allegedly happened 100 years ago.
        Turkey will never accept baseless propaganda no matter how many
        countries succump to the power of propaganda.

  2. Atilla Eagleman, M.D.

    November 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I am very excited to hear the opening of a Turkish Consulate in Miami. This is going to be very helpful for the residents of Turkish Nationality as well as dual citizens of both countries.

    Please, try to make one of your first priorities to establish a direct flight between Istanbul and Miami. People have been waiting for it for the last 13 years.

    Congratulations .

    A. Eagleman, M.D.

  3. Lunsin

    November 9, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Dear Brickellite,

    Ignorance is a bliss. I suggest you save some money to go around the world a little. Oh, by the way, some educational books might do you well. Your vocabulary is up to par I see, but to be well surrounded, you really need more than that. Just try for getting out of that neighborhood for a starter. Hope you don’t close your eyes to this beautiful earth as shallow as you are now. All the best.

    • global reach

      November 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Clearing you’re ignorant and in denial. What Brickllite said is the TRUTH. Please do some research and traveling.

  4. Harry

    December 1, 2014 at 4:03 am

    global reach is from the same gangclub that Brickllite is belong to. Both individuals are representing the false propaganda. Americans such as myself do not buy their one sided views and hate propoganda products. Long live Turkey and Turkish people.

  5. Rick Joyner

    December 2, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Great delivery. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing work.