Turkey Steps Out

The people behind the Istanbul Jewelry Show have one, not-so-simple aspiration: They want their fair to be a "leading global event." Of course, it may be a while—if ever—before "Istanbul" is spoken in the same hallowed breath as Vegas and Basel. But clearly it's a fair on the move. The show's 20th anniversary edition, held this March, was the biggest one ever, drawing 864 exhibitors and 40,983 visitors from 98 countries—including a lot more end customers. "In the beginning, all the visitors were exhibitors," says Cevdet Nyasaroglu, president of Chevo, a leading manufacturer. "Now it's retailers." Rotaforte, its organizer, is starting a second Istanbul fair, scheduled for August (originally September), and it plans to spend $2.5 million promoting its shows, with a particular focus on luring more U.S. and European buyers. Among veteran exhibitors, there was general astonishment o
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