During Easter time I had the opportunity to visit Istanbul, Turkey. There is some magic in the city, the east and the west are so present there. What I find the most interesting is actually the places where hardly any other Western tourists exist, the Asian side of the city.
The main shopping boulevard, the centre for commercial activity there in the Asian side is called "Baghdad Street". I was told that originally the name was given because that is where the traders left to Baghdad, Iraq, from Istanbul.
What I have learned in Turkey, this simple name shows the international attitude of Turkey. The people are all the time on their way to visit neigbors, understanding that their sole existince is based on interaction and trade between others.
How many big cities have named their main streets according to the capital of the neighboring country? How big is the "London Street" in Paris? Or "Berlin Street" in Amsterdam? Or "Washington Street" in Moscow? Street names may tell a lot how the outside world is viewed in the given country.
The Turkish attitude towards international trade starts with attitude. It is no wonder that Peikko has delivered goods to e.g. Afganistan and Turkmenistan via Turkish companies. No wonder that Turkish construction companies are doing work in Middle East, North Africa and Russia. In the international contractors list, Turkey had the world's #2 position right after China; there were 33 Turkish companies in the top 225 international contractors' list in 2010.
It is the "Baghdad Street" -attitude that counts.