Advertising Turkish style

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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  Telecom want you to feel transported…
Anadolu Hisari dolphin phone 2
… when you use their phones.

To the somewhat disturbing…


Young 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.


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


But I want to know who shot the fawn?

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

Organ Transplants

Publicly 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. Find out what it’s really like to move to a foreign country like Turkey in my memoir Istanbul Dreams: Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom.

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