Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Annex A


  1.  Our interests in Turkey are managed by our Embassy in Ankara and our Consulate General in Istanbul. There are also locally staffed Consulates or Honorary Consulates in Izmir, Bursa, Antalya, Marmaris, Bodrum and Mersin.

  2.  Diplomatic activity includes commercial, economic, political, press and public affairs, consular, immigration, law enforcement liaison and management work. There is also a sizeable defence section. A comparative summary of staffing is contained in the table below.

Homebased Staff
Locally Engaged Staff


  3.  We have historical property in both Ankara and Istanbul. In Ankara, the Embassy compound of 10.4 acres is the site of the Embassy and Residence. The Turkish Government gave HMG 7.1 acres in 1926, and we bought a further 3.3 acres in 1946. A church and a school are also on the compound.

  4.  In Istanbul, the Sultan of Turkey gave HMG a site of 0.5 acres in 1801. The Consulate-General occupies part of Pera House, a large Italianate building constructed by order of Parliament and dating from the mid 19th century. Pera House comprises offices, the Consul-General's residence, staff accommodation and a representational facility for the Ambassador. A fire substantially damaged Pera House on 31 May 2000. Since, the Consulate-General has operated from buildings on the periphery of the compound. We are restoring Pera House. The project should be complete in January 2004 at a cost of £5.1 million.

  5.  We also have property at Tarabya on the shores of the Bosphorous, 25 km north of Istanbul. The Sultan gifted this to Queen Victoria in 1847. It measures 8.5 acres and comprises four staff houses, a clubhouse and an amenity cottage.


  6.  The British Council's main office is in Ankara with other offices in Istanbul and Izmir. The Council employs four UK based and 60 locally employed staff. The Ankara office works with state ministries to support Turkey's progress towards EU accession. The Council aims to promote Britain as Turkey's preferred partner in Europe and is well placed to work on projects funded by the EU when these come on stream. It already works closely with the Embassy on Human Rights projects.

  7.  All three Council offices have education services (placement for UK language schools and counselling for UK tertiary education) to help promote English language study; there is also a large and successful English language teaching programme in Istanbul. The Council hopes to extend English language teaching to Izmir and open a fourth office before 2005, supported by fee-paying services. The Council's Libraries and Information services help teachers and learners of English as well as providing information on modern Britain in multimedia format.

  8.  The Council manages the Chevening scholarship programme for the FCO and will send approximately 40 postgraduate students to the UK for the 2002-03 academic year.

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