When President Oscar Arias travels to Turkey later this month, he will be the highest-level Central American official to visit the country in recent memory.
His visit will mark the beginning of closer ties between Turkey and the Central American isthmus – at least that’s the hope of Alev Kilic, Turkish ambassador to the region.
“Although we are distant, we have a lot in common,” said Kilic, during a tour of Costa Rica 10 days before the president will visit his home country. “Central America is at a crossing point between the north and the south and the east and the west. That is how we see ourselves. We are between Europe and Asia, the Christian world and the Muslim world.”
Being at a crossroads means the Central American region has much in common, both commercially and culturally, with Turkey, he said. It’s from these similarities that Kilic is hoping to grow a partnership.
The United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica and leading business school INCAE have already established programs with Turkey’s Balikesir University and Koc University, Graduate School of Business in Istanbul, said Michael Adenauer, Turkish honorary consul general in Costa Rica. And, according to Adenauer, Turkey is interested in exploring what kinds of investments it might make in Costa Rica.
Arias will travel through Turkey Nov. 23 through 26, making stops in Istanbul and Ankara to meet with university leaders and the president, among others.