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Thursday, May 08, 2008

TURKEY RECAP: SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION

Politics in Turkey is a strange animal. It's a Muslim nation, with a secular democracy, that is routinely overthrown by the military. The current party in power nationally and in Istanbul is "AK" Party. I understand people pronounce the party's name "ack," I prefer to call it "A-K" because I think it would be really cool if they had a campaign song that went, "It was a good day today. You voted AK today."

I could go on about how AK is a slightly religious party and how the country may undergo a judicial coup by the end of the summer, but I doubt you're interested in that.

What's interesting about the current ruling party is the non-stop self promotion campaign they've launched. They've sent glossy mailers to citizens (they weigh about a pound) touting their accomplishments.

From what I can figure out, the party has taken credit for everything from the construction of new sports stadiums to the invention of bread.But the biggest feature of the self promotion campaign involves hundreds of billboards displayed all across town. So one sunny Saturday, Christina, Julie, and I decided to go find some.Unfortunately, most of the billboards are located on freeways, and that's not a good location to get out of the car and snap pictures (although some people in Turkey clearly wouldn't have any problems doing that... more on that subject in a week or so). But we did find a billboard near an easily accessible pedestrian area...But what does it say? For that, let's turn to the U.S. State Department's Media Liaison...

Sounds good to me.

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