A day of programs and resolutions under the gold dome will highlight Georgia's relationship with Turkey. 

Georgia is one of the leading states doing business with Turkey, and the extensive business and educational ties that have developed in recent years are to be celebrated at the State Capitol Thursday morning.

Resolutions recognizing the work of the Istanbul Center, the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce Southeast (TACC-Southeast), the Turkic-American Federation of the Southeast and the Turkish-American community in Atlanta are to be passed by the state legislature.

Gov. Nathan Deal is to make opening remarks at 11 a.m. and a reception is to follow at 12:30 p.m. Artwork from the Istanbul Center’s Global Connections Art & Essay Competition for the 2011-12 school year will be on display as well as an art exhibition by Turkish-American artist Pamir Thompson.

Turkey was ranked Georgia’s 23rd largest trading partner in 2011, and the prospects for developing even stronger ties are in the offing.

For instance, Turkey is actively seeking bids for the construction of a new airport that eventually is to be able to handle 150 million passengers traveling through Istanbul, the country’s largest city.

The government has decided on this $9.3 billion project in the city of 15 million because the capacity at the main Ataturk hub faces severe traffic constraints and it has no room to expand in the highly populous area.

To be located near the Black Sea coast and about 37 miles northwest of the Istanbul city center, it will initially be able to handle 90 million passengers with an eventual capacity of 150 million. Atlanta has a variety of firms that have helped develop the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which has undergone extensive expansion since the mid-1990s. 

Turkey is expected to be the fastest growing economy belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with an annual growth rate averaging 6.7 percent through 2017. The organization is composed of 34 countries including the most developed but also rapidly emerging countries such as Mexico, Chile and Turkey.

Georgia-based companies interested in learning more about the Istanbul’s new airport or other business opportunities, should contact Global Atlanta by email or by calling 404-377-7710 or email editorial@globalatlanta.com to attend a breakfast on Feb. 25 featuring senior Turkish officials and businesspeople.