Advertising Turkish style

I am intrigued by the way Turks look at life, particularly when they view it using their own unique take on Western advertising. Turks have a passion for the foreign. Foreign music whose lyrics they don’t understand, foreign words they misspell and foreign names they misuse, they just don’t seem able to get enough. So let’s take a look at what happens when Western themes enter advertising Turkish style.

The images can range from the happy and innocent…


Turk wants you to feel transported…

Anadolu Hisari dolphin phone 2

… when you use their phones.

To the somewhat disturbing…

IMG_8286Young boys jump in the air like the happy new owners of a Toyota, only these boys aren’t celebrating getting a new car. They are expressing joy at the thought of the money they’re going to get once they go through the ritual circumcision called sünnet in Turkey. I saw this billboard outside my local council and it announces that annual registration has opened up, so poor families can have the procedure done for free.

IMG_8345Aw, I hear you sigh. What a cute name for a cafe!

IMG_8346But I want to know who shot the fawn?

If that isn’t enough,  there’s the downright sinister…

Organ TransplantsPublicly advertising circumcision is one thing. It’s culturally appropriate, even if somewhat controversial and considered a bit strange by some people in my culture. However this last billboard, advertising that my local hospital now offers organ transplants straight from both live and cadaver donors boggles my mind.

No matter how long I live here I sometimes think I will never truly understand Turkish culture, and that’s a good thing. I am never bored and enjoy waking up to see what each day will bring.

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About Goreme1990

I’m Lisa Morrow, the person behind I was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up a leafy middle class North Shore suburb. After finishing high school I went to Sydney University but failed to find my niche. After working as a public servant, cleaner, sales assistant, waitress, bar maid and car counter, I went overseas. Once there I hitchhiked through the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. My three months stay in the small central Anatolian village of Göreme changed my life. On my return to Australia I earned a BA Honours Degree in Sociology from Macquarie University. An academic career beckoned but the call to travel was louder. After several false starts I moved to Turkey and lived there for ten years. In 2017 I moved to Lisbon, Portugal, but continue to travel regularly to Istanbul. In addition to my blog I've written a travel narrative memoir called "Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom: Adrift in Istanbul" and two collections of essays, "Inside Out In Istanbul: Making Sense of the City" and "Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Crossing Inner Boundaries". I have a regular segment on San Francisco Turkish radio and in early 2017 I released an audio walking tour called "Stepping back through Chalcedon: Kadikoy Walk", through VoiceMap. In addition I write for various international and Australian magazines and websites, as well as for this blog. A full list of my published articles, with links, can be found on the Writing on Turkey and Writing Beyond Turkey pages.
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