As Istanbul Protests Turn Violent, Houston Businesses Look On Warily

Water Cannon & Tear Gas used on İstiklâl Caddesi near Taksim Square on June 1, 2013. Photo taken by Alan Hilditch and uploaded to Wikipedia.
Houston companies with business interests in Turkey are growing anxious as clashes in between protesters and government forces escalate.

Turkish riot police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons in an effort to clear Istanbul’s central square of protesters, on orders from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Michael Fjetland, president of Sugar Land-based Armor Glass International, had scheduled a trip to Turkey this autumn.

“It really does erode the confidence of business people, like myself and others, who normally would feel very much inclined to business with Turkey, because it is one of the more stable countries, or has been. But now, with all this going on, and the show of force, it’s enough to give one pause, for sure.”

Turkish Airlines inaugurated the first direct flights between Istanbul and Bush Intercontinental Airport in April — in support of growing Houston business interests in Turkey. Service on the route remains unaffected by the unrest, which has now spread to nearly 80 cities around the country.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...