Krasnodar, 31 October – Yug Times Our today’s interviewee is Fırat Bayar, Turkey’s new Consul General in Novorossiysk.
Q.: Mr. Bayar, please tell us where you worked before you were appointed to Novorossiysk. Was this appointment a surprise for you?
A.: My first overseas job was South Korea. I worked there in our Consulate in Seoul. Then I worked for three years in Slovenia. There are certain rotation rules: after a job abroad, you should stay for a while with the Foreign Ministry in Turkey. So when I came back from Slovenia, I worked in the Executive Office of the Turkish President. Then I worked in Paris, and in Geneva – in Turkey’s UN Representative Office. Then – after a year in Ankara – I was appointed Consul General in Novorossiysk.
Q.: What was the biggest surprise for you in Russia, and in the Kuban region in particular?
A.: I do not feel myself a foreigner here, all because I was born in the town of Rize in the Black Sea region. This is why I can easily say that as for the nature and climate, my native town looks very much like southern Russia, Kuban, and of course Novorossiysk.
Q.: Turkey is the main foreign economic partner of Krasnodar province. How do you see the development of economic relations between Turkey and Kuban in the future?
A.: In 2018, Turkey’s commodity turnover was USD 391 billion; exports equaled to USD 168 billion. This was the highest figure throughout the history of the Republic of Turkey. And Russia is undoubtedly our main partner. As a matter of fact, our entire goods turnover transits southern Russia.
When cooperating with any country, was set a priority goal – to ensure supplies of the goods really needed by the country of destination. As for Russia, Turkey mainly exports fresh fruits and vegetables – and does it via the seaport of Novorossiysk by ships. Also we work hard to increase our exports of household appliances which are popular in other countries. Of course, my main task as Turkey’s Consul General is to render all possible assistance to facilitate the trade between our nations.
Q.: Did you have time to get in touch with the Turkish businesspeople working in southern Russia?
A.: Although I am only studying your region so far, I did have time to learn about many Turkish businesspeople working here. Of course, my plans also include getting introduced to the Russian business circles that may potentially become investors in Turkey.
Q.: Diplomatic work is very hard. What do you do in your spare time? Do you have a hobby?
A.: In the past, I used to take up sports professionally, but now I got older and ‘retired’ from sports. But I love to play basketball when I have time.