Houston is adding depth to its reputation as an international city of trade with the establishment of direct-service air travel to Istanbul, Turkey via Turkish Airlines.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker welcomed an entire delegation of Turkish dignitaries to Bush Intercontinental last night to usher-in a new age of commerce between Houston, Texas and Turkey.
“It’s a bridge in the world, and it’s bridging the cultures, bridging the economy, and making it possible for us as Americans, and them as Turkish people, to communicate and do business for the future,” enthused Farouk Shami, Chairman of Farouk Systems Group, on hand to greet the first 777 flight to arrive direct from Istanbul.
Shami has done his homework, and with today’s signing of trade agreements with Houston and Turkey, he’s ready to do more business abroad: ”We’ll be working with two electronics tools for environmental beauty there,” Shami says. ”The economy is great in Turkey, and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. I think we can share knowledge on how to improve our economy, as well.” Shami has already made three trips to Turkey to set up manufacturing and other alliances. ”There’s a big market that I can expand Farouk Business Systems into that,” he says.
When Turkey was shunned by the rest of Europe, the country turned eastward, and developed trade with partners in Asia and beyond. That’s turning into good fortune for Texas, with trade agreements opening the gates for more commerce…and easier access with Turkish Airways’ direct flights.
Houston’s Turkish Consul General, Cemalettin Aydin, says, ”It’s quite big because this flight will, I think, connect Houston to, I believe, one of the most-dynamic places in the middle of three continents, that is, Turkey, between Europe, Asia and Africa.”
Turkish Airways will operate four direct flights a week, increasing to six a week in July. Shami is looking forward to the trade reciprocity: ”Turkish Delights, for sure,” he laughs. “That is most-popular, you know, and they sell lots of hundred of millions of that, and we like sweets. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind.”