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Cola giants challenged in Turkey

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  • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
    During the late 1980s, as the Cold War wound to a close, American fast food companies began penetrating the Soviet Union and China. The excuse was that the
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 21, 2003
      During the late 1980s, as the Cold War wound to a close, American "fast food"
      companies began penetrating the Soviet Union and China. The excuse was that
      the people of these countries wanted this kind of food. Now in some areas of
      technology, the Soviet Union and China were behind the USA, for example in
      some areas of computer and electronics technology, but I find it hard to
      believe that they were incapable of duplicating the technology of such food
      items as fried ground beef, fried potato strips, and carbonated sugar-water.
      If the peoples of these country really wanted that kind of food (which we in
      the USA also rightly know as "junk food"), it could have been produced
      locally, and at much lower cost, and this is what the Cubans did, and
      eventually the Chinese as well. Now it looks like the Turkish national
      bourgeoisie is fighting back and producing local alternatives to imperialist
      multinational soft drinks. The following article, attributed to Catherine
      Collins of the Chicago Tribune, appeared on page A11 of the thursday, August
      21, 2003 edition of The Arizona Republic.

      --Kevin Walsh

      TURKS GEAR FOR COLA WAR

      Local Drink Grabs Coke, Pepsi Sales

      Istanbul, Turkey--The Cold War may be over in this strategically placed
      country, but the Cola War has just begun.

      A large Turkish cookie company, Ulker, has claimed a hefty chunk of the cola
      market from the industry giants, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, almost overnight. The
      U.S. companies have responded by lowering prices in a battle that, like many
      things in Turkey these days, has political overtones that outweigh the bottom
      line.

      Ulker's opening salvo was a snappy television ad campaign featuring American
      actor Chevy Chase that began airing last month. The ads for the new drink,
      called Cola Turka, exploit a growing feeling of nationalism among Turks and
      mounting anti-American sentiment stemming from the unpopular war in
      neighboring Iraq.

      In a bit of serendipity, the advertising campaign started July 4, the day 11
      Turkish soldiers were taken into custody by U.S. troops in northern Iraq.

      The incident, the first time one NATO country has taken another NATO member's
      soldiers into custody, got enormous attention in the Turkish media and
      fanned anti-American feelings.

      Whether or not its timing was accidental, Ulker is not the first company to
      tap into nationalistic feelings in an attempt to persuade locals to abandon
      companies closely associated with American culture.

      Drinks with an anti-American message, like Mecca Cola and Zam Zam Cola, have
      popped up in the Mideast and Europe.

      But unlike those local soft drinks, which are aimed at a small niche, Ulker
      wants to dominate the national market in this youthful country of nearly 70
      million, where Coke has 57 percent of sales and Pepsi 27 percent.

      Ulker says it wants a 25 percent share of the growing soft drink market in
      Turkey by the end of the year. The company has not released sales figures,
      but Cola Turka has clearly caught on.

      "Cola Turka has grabbed 40 percent of my sales," said Muharrem Temel, who runs
      a refreshment stand in a posh western neighborhood of Istanbul. "If that can
      happen here in Bebek, where so many foreigners live, imagine the company's
      success in the rural areas, where people are more conservative and
      nationalistic."
    • mike ross
      now this supports ernies concept of letting people charge $4 for a gallong of gas or coke. sell a product for too much and the free market will get people who
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 21, 2003
        now this supports ernies concept
        of letting people charge $4 for
        a gallong of gas or coke.

        sell a product for too much and
        the free market will get people
        who make it and sell it for less
        so they can make a buck.

        as soon as the compitition kicks
        in the $4 gallon price of gas
        will be dropping


        ---- Begin Original Message ----

        From: thekoba@...
        Sent: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 11:58:19 -0700 (MST)
        To: azsecularhumanists@yahoogroups.com
        CC: alloush44@..., cbpeek@...,
        nebukhadhnasar@...,nsubufa@...,
        deadnextdoor@...,
        lilyasirah@...,abikani@...,
        proton@...
        Subject: [azsecularhumanists] Cola giants
        challenged in Turkey




        During the late 1980s, as the Cold War wound to
        a close, American "fast food"
        companies began penetrating the Soviet Union and
        China.  The excuse was that
        the people of these countries wanted this kind
        of food.  Now in some areas of
        technology, the Soviet Union and China were
        behind the USA, for example in
        some areas of computer and electronics
        technology, but I find it hard to
        believe that they were incapable of duplicating
        the technology of such food
        items as fried ground beef, fried potato strips,
        and carbonated sugar-water.
        If the peoples of these country really wanted
        that kind of food (which we in
        the USA also rightly know as "junk food"), it
        could have been produced
        locally, and at much lower cost, and this is
        what the Cubans did, and
        eventually the Chinese as well.  Now it looks
        like the Turkish national
        bourgeoisie is fighting back and producing local
        alternatives to imperialist
        multinational soft drinks.  The following
        article, attributed to Catherine
        Collins of the Chicago Tribune, appeared on page
        A11 of the thursday, August
        21, 2003 edition of The Arizona Republic.

        --Kevin Walsh

        TURKS GEAR FOR COLA WAR

        Local Drink Grabs Coke, Pepsi Sales

        Istanbul, Turkey--The Cold War may be over in
        this strategically placed
        country, but the Cola War has just begun.

        A large Turkish cookie company, Ulker, has
        claimed a hefty chunk of the cola
        market from the industry giants, Coca-Cola and
        Pepsi, almost overnight.  The
        U.S. companies have responded by lowering prices
        in a battle that, like many
        things in Turkey these days, has political
        overtones that outweigh the bottom
        line.

        Ulker's opening salvo was a snappy television ad
        campaign featuring American
        actor Chevy Chase that began airing last
        month.  The ads for the new drink,
        called Cola Turka, exploit a growing feeling of
        nationalism among Turks and
        mounting anti-American sentiment stemming from
        the unpopular war in
        neighboring Iraq.

        In a bit of serendipity, the advertising
        campaign started July 4, the day 11
        Turkish soldiers were taken into custody by U.S.
        troops in northern Iraq.

        The incident, the first time one NATO country
        has taken another NATO member's
        soldiers into custody, got enormous attention in
        the Turkish media and
        fanned anti-American feelings.

        Whether or not its timing was accidental, Ulker
        is not the first company to
        tap into nationalistic feelings in an attempt to
        persuade locals to abandon
        companies closely associated with American
        culture.

        Drinks with an anti-American message, like Mecca
        Cola and Zam Zam Cola, have
        popped up in the Mideast and Europe.

        But unlike those local soft drinks, which are
        aimed at a small niche, Ulker
        wants to dominate the national market in this
        youthful country of nearly 70
        million, where Coke has 57 percent of sales and
        Pepsi 27 percent.

        Ulker says it wants a 25 percent share of the
        growing soft drink market in
        Turkey by the end of the year.  The company has
        not released sales figures,
        but Cola Turka has clearly caught on.

        "Cola Turka has grabbed 40 percent of my sales,"
        said Muharrem Temel, who runs
        a refreshment stand in a posh western
        neighborhood of Istanbul.  "If that can
        happen here in Bebek, where so many foreigners
        live, imagine the company's
        success in the rural areas, where people are
        more conservative and
        nationalistic."

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        ---- End Original Message ----




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        that is LIBERTY. When people fear the
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      • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
        ... There is no comparison. There is no shortage of cola in Turkey or elsewhere, and cola is not necessary for getting to work or otherwise sustaining life.
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 21, 2003
          >
          >now this supports ernies concept
          >of letting people charge $4 for
          >a gallong of gas or coke.
          >
          >sell a product for too much and
          >the free market will get people
          >who make it and sell it for less
          >so they can make a buck.
          >
          >as soon as the compitition kicks
          >in the $4 gallon price of gas
          >will be dropping

          There is no comparison. There is no shortage of cola in Turkey or
          elsewhere, and cola is not necessary for getting to work or otherwise
          sustaining life. If someone were price-gouging cola, people could
          simply switch to tea or water. At the moment there is a shortage of
          petrol in Phoenix, and the competition is minimal. That is why
          rationing is needed, not price-gouging.

          --Kevin
        • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
          Dear Eric, Many thanks for this vivid description of Arab soft drinks of the 1970s. They do sound good. Comradely, Kevin
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 21, 2003
            Dear Eric,

            Many thanks for this vivid description of Arab soft
            drinks of the 1970s. They do sound good.

            Comradely,

            Kevin

            >
            >Dear Kevin,
            >
            >When I was in Saudi Arabia and Syria in the mid-1970s
            >(when things were less degraded than now) the
            >situation was that CocaCola had been kicked out of all
            >Arab countries for opening a facility in occupied
            >Palestine. That violated the embargo so all the Arab
            >countries where Coke was, kicked them out. (Those
            >were the days!)
            >
            >In Saudi Arabia the CocaCola bottlers left their plant
            >behind and an enterprising Saudi named S. M. Kaaki
            >bought the place and started producing "Kaaki Cola"
            >which was available as far as I knew throughout the
            >Kingdom - anyway wherever I went it was there, so it
            >was not a niche market. To me it tasted just like
            >Coke, but then I can't tell the difference between
            >Coke and Pepsi either.
            >
            >At that time, however, Pepsi had not opened any
            >facilities in occupied Palestine so their drink was
            >readily available. Of course other Pepsi drinks were
            >also available in Saudia too as well as some western
            >orange and other soda drinks that might or might not
            >be Pepsi products; I don't know.
            >
            >I don't know if Coke ever was allowed into Syria, but
            >when I was there they had lots of ultra sweet fruit
            >flavoured soft drinks -- bright red ("cherry" I
            >suppose) and bright yellow ("orange", I guess). It
            >was like drinking liquid sugar cane, but it was made
            >in Syria. That too served the whole country, not a
            >niche market. Since it was not brown, I guess it
            >wasn't an "import substitution" for Coke, but it was a
            >fizzy soft drink. In Syrian colloquial, soft drinks
            >are called "gazzoz" because of the carbonation (gas) I
            >suppose.
            >
            >I don't know what's gone on since I left. I suspect
            >they've been flooded by all sorts of western crap.
            >
            >What was nice, however, was that in summer months
            >there were lots of little juice shops everywhere both
            >in Saudia and in Syria. They had fresh fruits -
            >mangoes, bananas, etc., -- and for half a riyal in
            >Saudia (about 15 cents) you could get a tall glass
            >full of fresh fruit juice with a little crushed ice in
            >it. In Syria the price was one Lira (33 cents, then)
            >but they gave you the whole blender-full.
            >
            >Those prices were comparable to the bottled soft
            >drinks. They were not so portable, that is, you had
            >to buy them in the juice shops, not at a restaurant or
            >coffee house, and since they only only had glasses,
            >not paper cups, you had to consume it there. Still it
            >was a lot better than soft drinks.
            >
            >Then as far as drinks go, in Syria and Turkey too the
            >old and traditional summer drink is called Sous in
            >Arabic. I don't know what the Turkish word is. Sous
            >is licorice, but oddly for a region where they seem
            >addicted to sugar, this is unsweetened and quite
            >bitter. It's like drinking rootbeer with NO
            >sweetening, if you can imagine, and tastes like
            >sucking on a root. But after you overcome the initial
            >reaction, it is refreshing because it's cold. (And
            >sweet things aren't in fact thirst quenching.) I
            >actually miss it when I think about it.
            >
            >The sous seller wanders around with a large decorated
            >brass contraption on his back (containing the drink)
            >and he serves the sous in little brass bowels that
            >everyone drinks out of. I suppose that's not
            >"hygienic" but I was used to such things. As he walks
            >around he clangs the little brass bowels together to
            >let people know of his coming. I can't remember the
            >cost for a drink but it would only be a few cents.
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