Saturday, September 29, 2007

Living in Sin; the Ankara agreement

The last days I got emails from people who were confused about the Ankara Agreement and Ankara protocol.

Ankara agreement was an initial agreement to set up a sustainable cooperation between Turkey and (by then) the EC.

Ankara protocol was signed and ratified by the Turkish Government in 2004 but never fully implemented by Turkey, due to domestic nationalistic pressure.

Interesting detail in the Ankara agreement is that it excluded any Turkish born citizen of any political position in the EC. However, at the moment, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany have Turkish born politicians in their parliaments. The Netherlands even has a State minister of Justice, for Immigration. She has both the Turkish and Dutch citizenship.

The Ankara agreement never became really into force since Turkey never harmonized its laws with the EC, EEC or the now called EU.

Turkey applied in 1987 to join the EC, but was rejected. But finally in 1995 a Custom Agreement was signed. Still, Turkey didn't fulfill its obligations regarding harmonization of its laws with now the EU; Political, social and economical.

The ECJ is indeed the highest court but it doesn't have a say about the Community Acquis.
Simply: it has to follow the CA and its treaties.

And last but not the least: every lawyer knows that the law always will be interpreted 'in the spirit of the law, and not by the letter'. Which, of course, authoritarian states, don't acknowledge. Here we see the main difference in perception by the EU and Turkey.

Cirque de Soleil

The arena show of Cirque de Soleil, Delirium, started its European tour two weeks ago in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
I remember the early nineties, when Cirque de Soleil really started to make money, they had their European HQ in Amsterdam. With an enormous tent on the Museum Square in Amsterdam. I think that they had that tent there for at least one year. And it was tremendously difficult to get a ticket for their shows! Everybody wanted to see it.

Now 15 years later, different shows are touring at the same time over the different continents. And in 2004 Cirque de Soleil was no. 22 of the Brand Index of Interbrand.

Delirium set out to accomplish what no other Cirque du Soleil show has done before. This show tours from city to city, performing in an arena for only a few nights at a time before moving to the next location. The central concept of the show is to focus on the music of other shows. Because of its success two weeks ago, the three shows were sold out as soon they were announced. On the last day they decided to give an extra show in Rotterdam.

Delirium is a touring production designed to be presented in arenas, unlike Cirque du Soleil's other touring shows, which are generally performed in the round in specially designed tents. Delirium's stage is set up on the arena floor, bisecting it lengthwise. Its two-sided, raised stage allows for an alley theater-style presentation: the audience sits on both sides of the stage, at times able to look over the central stage to see the spectators on the other side. This presents unique staging challenges, in that the most important actions must be visible to both sides of the audience.

Unlike other Cirque du Soleil shows, where the musicians are off to the side and mainly out of view, Delirium's six musicians are often in plain view, and can be seen interacting with the other performers and various stage elements.
Despite the extraordinary complexity and size of Delirium's stage, it can be assembled inside an arena in approximately 9 hours.

As far as I know, Cirque de Soleil never performed in Istanbul, which is a pity since I am sure that Turkish people would love this!

Business is human again

This is Reza Oliaei, a good friend of mine in the Netherlands. I started working with him on transnational business in spring 2006.
I will put a part of his intro letter as CEO, published on his website, below. Why? Yesterday, Super Hero posted an entry about data. You can read it here. And this is all about 'secret data'.

Business is Human Again!

...the greatest transformation and evolution agent that makes your customer experience tangible…

What is actually the problem? Companies and organizations have become more and more impersonal due to globalization and international competition. The more global they try to be; the more inhuman they become at a point that we are starting to get used to receive “No, no, no” answers from them. It’s just a matter of time before we churn…

Do you realize how companies over-complicate the definition of a simple customer who struggling to find simple values and loyalty while trying to buy, pay and consume simple products and services? We are lost in loyalty cards, call centers, surveys, rewards, absorbed marketing actions, countless direct mails, never ending advertisement campaigns, rigid IT systems that dictate human factors, outsourcing that disintegrates the basic services, speed of technology and marketing growth that is faster than population growth. In consequence we get used to force customers to believe in our artificial and unwanted marketing traps to pull them down to drown into our operational silos and corporate bazaars.

Nowadays; consumers are searching for authenticity, genuineness, values and the organizations who don’t try to mean everything for everybody, but who have made a clear and distinct choice to deliver specific and adequate 1 to 1 values to each individual consumer and who do not try to 'lock-them-in' because of their incapacity, inflexibility, complexity and lack of understanding about who they really are and what values they truly deserve.