Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Turkey’s Image – the final One

This article is published on February 27th in Turkish Weekly.

Back to the criteria. In Turkey’s image part - 1, I introduced the Famous Six: the criteria of the Nation Brand Hexagon™ as devised by Simon Anholt. The first three: Export, Tourism and Governance are described in that same article. While writing about the last three parts, Hrank Dink was killed, and I wrote an Intermezzo: Turkish Image part 2a. The forth criteria is about Investment climate, which worthy of its own article, it is described in Turkey’s Silent Revolution. Last but not least come what are, in my opinion, the most important issues: Turkish Culture and Heritage and Turkey's biggest asset, its citizens.
Therefore, this is my final article about Turkish Image. It will complete the general image of Turkey from my point of view but guided by the points set out by the Nations Brand Index™ of Simon Anholt.

Read the full article here

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Picture of the Year?

Maybe for some of you this picture is a funny one, but for me an intensely sad one.
I am not sure if the guy in the photo was interested in his women or the area.
And... this is not Istanbul.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Turkeys needs confidence, not fear

Published in Turkish Daily News of 16 February 2007

Istanbul cannot be renamed Constantinople anymore: Istanbul is a brand name.

Is Turkey acting responsibly in the international scene? Looking at it from the point of view of an independent communication manager, I would say “no,” at least “not always.” Turkey wants to be loved very much and as everyone knows, if you are desperately seeking love, you won't get it.

Actually, Turkey is facing hot issues these days, mainly unsolved problems of the past. Problems which became ghosts haunting Turkish identity: the alleged Armenian genocide (or shall we call it, for a change, democide) and Cyprus. There is also the ongoing hostility with some of Turkey's neighbors, like Armenia, Greece (still) and Iraq. But to make these things clear, Turkey must withhold its traditional way of reacting in order to become a serious and rational sparring and business partner. International statesmen and diplomats always appear rational and employ PR agents to guide them and make them understandable. Why not in Turkey? Since when is nationalism more important than the prosperity and health of a nation and its citizens? Nationalism becomes more and more an empty word these days.

Read the full article here

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Turkish Silent Revolution

Published in Turkish Weekly of February 12, 2007

Since 2001 Turkey is in transition. Better to say: it’s undergoing a real revolution, an economical one. Not forced by the EU since it started accession talks but helped by the World bank and IMF. And Turkey is following the EU in relations with social, political and economical reforms. And as a matter of fact regarding the latter, it’s obvious that Turkey is doing pretty well.

Read the full article here

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Tragedy of Turkey

This article is published in Turkish Daily News of January 13, 2007

The branding of a country has become a crucial issue in today's world. Whether we like it or not, globalization enforces countries to compete with each other. Self-supporting economies, one of which was Turkey until the beginning of the 1980's, are simply anachronistic today. Those who still believe in that protectionist economic policy should just look at Zimbabwe or
North Korea.
The branding of a country is important not only for the attention and trust of foreign investors but also for the choices of tourists. It also reflects the country's social, political and economic achievements. And, the products that a country sells abroad are a definitive aspect of its brand. In all these regards, Turkey is not doing well.

Read the full article here

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Turkey's reputation is at stake, not its honor

This article is published in Turkish Daily on February 6, 2007

The international perception of Turkey is still unfavorable. And the Turkish media at large is collectively responsible for this.

The killing of Hrant Dink shows the fragility of Turkey's image. Certain internal and international nationalistic groups “hijacked” his death while other opportunists misused “his friendship” for their own purposes. The Turkish newspapers were full of condemnation, and the foreign press saw an opportunity to show the difficult lives of independent Turkish journalists and writers, exploring how some even have bodyguards and use police protection…

The common man on the street in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara and Mersin might curse me for saying that Dink's death has to do with the ugly face of state propaganda, bad education and systematic massive misinformation. So, the tragic death of this fine journalist deserves more than just to offer an opportunity for a fleeting discussion. The doves that were released during his funeral instead of sacrificing another living being can be symbolic: peace for him and relieve the Turkish soul in mourning. And no more sensational news please, just let him rest in peace.

Read the full article here

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Turkey's Image part 2a - an intermezzo

This article is published in Turkish Weekly on February 2, 2007

The killing of Hrant Dink shows how fragile Turkey’s image is. Certain internal and international nationalistic groups and other opportunists already ‘hijacked’ his death for their own purposes!
The Turkish newspapers were full of condemnation, and the foreign press saw an opportunity to show how difficult life for independent Turkish journalists and writers is: exploring that some even have bodyguards and use police protection!
I bet you that even in a polarized country like the USA, high profile journalist of the NYT, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal, LA times etc. are using ordinary taxi chauffeurs as their drivers…

Read the full article here